Jury won't weigh death penalty until next Tuesday
After deliberating for 10 days over hundreds of counts, the jury in the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell won't begin the penalty phase until next Tuesday, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney in a statement.
And attorneys for both the prosecution and defense won't be allowed to speak until that next — and crucial — phase of the trial concludes. The DA said it will not commit on the verdict reached today until after the penalty phase is complete.
Gosnell has been found guilty of at least three counts of murder, according to reports inside the courtroom.
The jury will weigh whether he faces death or life in prison.
A gag order has been in effect for all those involved in the case since it began a couple months ago.
"A jury today found Kermit Gosnell guilty of First Degree Murder, which means the gag order in this case remains until after the penalty phase is completed," a spokeswoman for District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement. "The District Attorney’s Office will abide by the gag order and will not comment until jurors have made that decision."
No immediate reason was given for the week delay between the verdict and the penalty phase of the trial.
Gosnell’s co-defendant Eileen O’Neill will be sentenced July 15. She is currently on house arrest.
Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or email@example.com. Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.