April 22, 2013 |
For five weeks, the jurors have heard one witness after another tell of beheaded babies, snipped spines, and a filthy clinic. They have seen color photos of aborted fetuses - some as old as seven months, others allegedly born breathing and moving - and sat just feet an array of aged equipment from the West Philadelphia abortion clinic of Kermit Gosnell. Overcoming this pile of evidence may seem insurmountable, but that is the job defense attorney Jack McMahon begins Monday. At stake is his client's life.
April 5, 2013 |
A state Supreme Court decision overturning a 2011 law that permitted counties to abolish the post of jury commissioner, an elected position that oversees jury selection, has sown confusion ahead of the fall elections. The problem: Counties that had planned to abolish the posts after the current commissioners' terms expired this year found they had no candidates filed to run for the suddenly available positions. With many counties now relying heavily on computers to manage jury selection, the legislature two years ago gave local jurisdictions the option of doing away with the position.
March 14, 2013 |
After seven days of asking hundreds of potential jurors about abortion, the death penalty, and other issues, lawyers picked a jury Wednesday for the murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. "That's it, we're going with five alternates," Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart said as the fifth alternate juror also proved to be the last prospect in the jury pool. Minehart said testimony would begin Monday. What time Monday is another question, as the judge and lawyers planned for trial security.
March 14, 2013
A panel of 12 jurors - seven women and five men - has been selected for the Philadelphia murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. A man selected Tuesday and a woman picked Monday filled out the 12 members needed for the basic Common Pleas Court jury. But prosecution and defense lawyers and Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart will continue the selection process begun March 4 until they get six alternate jurors for a trial estimated to last up to eight weeks. Minehart said he hopes to begin testimony Monday.
March 12, 2013 |
JURY SELECTION continued Monday in the murder trial of a Philadelphia abortion provider charged with killing a woman and seven babies. Kermit Gosnell is charged with running a rogue clinic in West Philadelphia and letting untrained staff perform late-stage abortions. The trial is expected to start this week and last nearly two months. Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart is seeking six alternate jurors in addition to the 12 regular jurors. Ten jurors were chosen last week. Gosnell, 72, could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the infant deaths.
March 9, 2013
Two more jurors were picked Thursday for the Philadelphia murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, bringing to 10 the total selected since Monday. One male juror selected Wednesday had to withdraw for financial reasons but the lawyers and Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart then picked two more, a man and woman. Minehart said jury selection would resume Monday and that he hoped to begin testimony Wednesday. - Joseph A. Slobodzian
March 5, 2013 |
Shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2010, a federal-state task force raided a rambling three-story building in West Philadelphia suspected as the source of prescription narcotics flooding the streets. The agents who went into the Women's Medical Society at 3801 Lancaster Ave. found what they were looking for - and much more. Inside were boxes of medical waste, preserved fetuses, infant feet in specimen jars, and filthy medical equipment - what prosecutors allege was evidence of Kermit Gosnell's booming abortion clinic, where late-term pregnancies were illegally and murderously ended.
January 25, 2013 |
As jury selection began Wednesday in the corruption trial of suspended Pennsylvania Justice Joan Orie Melvin, proponents of judicial reform proposed a constitutional amendment that would end the current system of electing appellate judges and give the governor authority to appoint them. The bill, introduced by State Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D., Phila.) and Republican State Sen. Richard Alloway, who represents Adams, York, and Franklin Counties, would end contested elections for state appellate judges, as well as members of the Supreme Court.
January 14, 2013 |
The trial of a priest and former parochial-school teacher charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at a Northeast parish in the late 1990s opened this morning in Common Pleas Court, with prosecutors portraying the men as predators who shattered the boy's childhood, and caused him to turn to drugs to numb his pain. Defense attorneys told jurors that the boy, identified in a grand jury report as "Billy Doe," has told many different versions of the abuse since reporting it in 2010.
January 11, 2013 |
Testimony is to begin Monday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court in the trial of a priest and a former parochial-school teacher charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at a Northeast parish in the late 1990s. Judge Ellen Ceisler confirmed the start of testimony Wednesday after prosecution and defense lawyers completed picking a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates to hear the evidence against the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66, and Bernard Shero, 49. Jury selection began Monday and concluded Wednesday with two final jurors and six alternates.