Philly Abortion Doc May Face Death Sentence

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Prosecutors say they will pursue the death penalty against Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.

The 70-year-old late-term abortionist was formally arraigned Wednesday, charged with killing seven babies and one woman.

The multiple deaths and tender age of the babies - allegedly killed with scissors after being born alive - are the aggravating circumstances that warrant the death penalty for Gosnell, Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said Wednesday.

Gosnell's attorney says his client would most likely die of old age before a death sentence would ever be carried out against him.

"Dr. Gosnell is never going to get the death penalty," attorney Jack McMahon said after a brief court hearing. "You have a 70-year-old man, and it makes the case three times as long and as costly."

A grand jury concluded after a two-year investigation that Gosnell's West Philadelphia medical practice served as a pill mill by day and an abortion mill by night.

The abortion doctor is being held without bail on eight counts of murder and was not brought to court for the formal arraignment. His next hearing is set for March 30.

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