The Deadlocked Gosnell Jury Is Still Two Big Decisions Away from a Conclusion

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UPDATE (2:34 P.M.): A full verdict has now been reached. Click here for more updates.

Original Post: After 10 days of deliberations, the jury in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has declared an impasse on two of the charges leveled against him. Jurors informed Judge Jeffrey Minehart around 10:30 a.m. Eastern this morning that they were unable to come to an agreement, although by law the judge must order them to return to deliberation and try to come to consensus. After a brief hearing he did just that, instructing them to continue their efforts to bring the trial to a conclusion, and to ask for help or clarifications if they need it.

The court did not reveal which of the two counts they failed to agree on, but considering that Gosnell is charged with over 250 counts, it's a good bet that those two are among the most significant. (Gosnell also has a co-defendant, and it could be related to her case as well.) In addition to the many violations of state abortion, drug, and health laws, Gosnell is charged with five counts of murder, four of them for infants who were allegedly born alive before the doctor cut their spinal cords. The fifth count is for the death of a patient who received a lethal dose of painkillers and anesthesia during her abortion procedure.

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Some watchers of the trial, particularly anti-abortion activists, were dismayed by the jury's move, seeing it has a bad sign for their cause—the evidence being so obvious to them that it's inconceivable for Gosnell to have not already been convicted. However, even with the two hung counts, the judge could accept verdicts on all the other charges, and even without a guilty ruling on the murders, the other crimes could easily put him in jail for life. For now, everyone, including Gosnell, will just have to wait a little longer to learn his fate.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.