Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion provider who was convicted on three counts of murder on Monday, waived his right to appeal his conviction in hopes to avoid the death penalty.
In exchange, he would spend life in prison and gives up any future possibility of parole.
Gosnell was found guilty of killing babies by cutting their spinal cords with scissors. The 72-year-old has remaining charges pending against him, including those for the death of a third baby.
A jury also found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter of a woman who died from anesthetic overdose during an abortion at Gosnell's clinic in West Philadelphia.
Additionally, Gosnell, who is not a board-certified obstetrician or gynecologist, was found guilty of 21 counts of abortion of the unborn, 24 weeks or older.
In Pennsylvania, abortions past 24 weeks are illegal unless the health of the mother is at stake.
O. Carter Snead, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, said that he wasn't surprised by the deal.
"From a pragmatic perspective, it can take decades for a defendant to exhaust all of his appeals from a sentence of death. Given his advanced age, it is likely that Gosnell would die on death row before this process runs its course," he said.
"More importantly, in my judgment, principles of justice are served by a sentence of life without parole in this case. There has been quite enough bloodshed because of this evil man's actions."
The doctor's lawyer said his client is at peace now that "he knows what his fate is."
"I think, once there is a finality ... there's a certain sereneness about that," McMahon said.
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(Photo: AP Photo)
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