PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A Philadelphia jury began its sixth day of deliberations on Tuesday in the murder trial of a doctor accused of killing babies and a patient during late-term abortions at a clinic serving low-income women.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, who ran the now-shuttered Women’s Medical Society Clinic, could face the death penalty if convicted by the jury in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia.
The seven-woman, five-man jury heard five weeks of testimony before starting deliberations a week ago on Tuesday.
The jury, in its sixth day of deliberations, resumed discussions behind closed doors on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
Gosnell is charged with four counts of first-degree murder for delivering live babies during late-term abortions and then deliberately severing their spinal cords, prosecutors said.
It is legal in Pennsylvania to abort a fetus up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy. Gosnell also faces charges that he performed 24 abortions beyond 24 weeks.
Gosnell’s defense contends there is no evidence the babies were alive after they were aborted.
Testimony depicted a filthy clinic serving mostly low-income women in a largely black community.
Gosnell also is charged with murdering Karnamaya Mongar, 41, of Virginia, who died from a drug overdose after going to him for an abortion, prosecutors said.
Gosnell has been in jail since his January 2011 arrest. Eight other defendants have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges and are awaiting sentencing. They include Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, a cosmetologist who helped perform abortions.
Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Doina Chiacu