Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Defending the Indefensible: Closing Arguments in the Gosnell Trial

[Today's post originally appeared on the Americans United for Life blog.]

Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for Kermit Gosnell, is a friendly guy. Before the trial began, he chit-chatted with pro-lifers in the gallery. He couldn’t discuss the case, of course, but he shared funny stories and talked golf. He seemed like a nice man.

Only he knows his motives for taking this case. Maybe he’s in it for the money. Maybe he truly believes in Gosnell’s innocence. Or perhaps he felt that he could handle it emotionally, and therefore had an obligation to take the case. (If no attorney were willing to represent Gosnell, the court would have conscripted someone, to fulfill Gosnell’s right to counsel.)

For whatever reason, when the court session began, he proceeded to defend the indefensible.

At the core of his closing argument was the assertion that no babies were born alive; they were all injected with the lethal drug digoxin in utero. But this raises an obvious question: if the babies were dead, why would Gosnell’s employees “snip” their spinal cords?

McMahon’s answer was confused: “Maybe to end the pain, some remote pain left in there.” Apparently the jurors are supposed to believe that dead babies can feel pain.

And why, if the babies were born dead, did Gosnell’s co-conspirators plead guilty to murder? McMahon had an answer for that, too: they were terrified by the “tsunami” of public opinion against them. (How this tsunami comports with the media’s month-long absence from the trial remained unexplained.) He also accused the government of “manipulating” the jury and alleged that the case was an “elitist, racist prosecution.”

The commonwealth’s closing argument was thorough. Prosecutor Ed Cameron carefully reviewed the evidence presented by the fifty-four witnesses in the case.

Medical testimony showed that the newborn babies’ movements and whines were not “cadaver spasms,” but signs of life.

Eyewitness testimony showed that, contrary to the defense argument, Karnamaya Mongar’s death was not a freak accident. Her death could have been prevented if there were trained medical professionals at the scene and the clinic was well-maintained. Instead, she was cared for by a woman with an 8th-grade education, a woman with serious mental health problems, and a 15-year-old girl, in an unsanitary house of horrors.

Most important, the prosecution reviewed voluminous testimony showing that digoxin was not used, or was improperly used, as a matter of course. The four infant victims were born alive.

Americans United for Life is hopeful that justice will be done, and that this case will bring public attention to the need for born-alive infant protections and abortion clinic regulations. The profit-driven abortion industry cannot be trusted to police itself.

1 comment:

LN said...

Ah, I was waiting for the racism card. Honestly at this point it's like admitting you have no argument. Good riddance.