Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion provider, was given three life sentences on Wednesday for killing babies during late-term abortions in his now shut-down clinic.
Gosnell waived his right to appeal his conviction to avoid the death penalty. In exchange, he was given life in prison and gives up any future possibility of parole.
The 72-year-old was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder in cutting babies' spinal cords with scissors. His Women's Medical Society Clinic in West Philadelphia served primarily Black and low-income patients.
A jury had also found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter of a woman who died from anesthetic overdose during an abortion at Gosnell's clinic.
Gosnell's defense argued that there was no evidence that the babies were alive after they were aborted and any movement or noise from them were "involuntary spasms," according to Reuters.
After the sentencing, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams called Gosnell a "monster" and said imprisoning him for the rest of his life would prevent him from harming others.
"Kermit Gosnell will never kill another baby, he will never kill another woman seeking medical assistance," Williams said. "He will never again subject poor women to barbaric procedures performed in squalor under less than third world conditions."
Gosnell's lawyer, Jack McMahon, said Gosnell maintained his innocence.
"He believes what he did was not homicide. He believes he never killed a live baby," McMahon told reporters.
Jurors speaking publicly for the first time said after the sentencing on Wednesday that the trial, which lasted more than two months, was emotionally draining.
"There was a lot to deal with," said jury foreman David Misko, 27. Asked why the jurors agreed to convict Gosnell on first-degree murder charges, he said they found that the doctor's actions were premeditated.
"It was business as usual," Misko said. "He snipped the necks no matter what happened."
Both anti-abortion and abortion rights advocates pointed to the trial as powerful evidence for their arguments. But juror Sarah Glinski, 23, said the highly emotional issue of abortion had no place in the jury deliberation room.
"Unfortunately with this trial things like pro life and pro choice take the forefront. For me and for all of us, it wasn't about abortion. It was about the murder of these children," Glinski said.
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(Photo: Philadelphia Police Department via Philadelphia District Attorney's Office/AP Photo, File)
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