From NBC Philadelphia:
It took the prosecution five weeks to present their case against West Philly abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell and it took defense attorney Jack McMahon a couple of hours to knock a big hole through a critical part of their argument.
Three first-degree murder charges were dropped against Gosnell after McMahon argued that “there is not one piece…of objective, scientific evidence that anyone was born alive” at Gosnell’s clinic.
Prosecutors have argued that the babies were viable and that Gosnell and his staff cut them in the back of the neck to kill them.
Gosnell was orginally charged with eight counts of murder. Seven first-degree murder charges are for accusations that he killed seven newborns. The third-degree murder charge is for the 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old Bhutanese refugee prosecutors say received lethal doses of sedatives and painkillers at the clinic while awaiting an abortion.
He also is charged with violating Pennsylvania abortion law by performing abortions after 24 weeks, operating a corrupt organization and other crimes.was originally charged with seven counts of first degree murder
Gosnell, 72, still faces five remaining murder charges and the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of any of the first-degree cases.
NBC News reports on why the charges were dropped:
At the urging of the defense, a Philadelphia judge dropped nine charges, including some of the most serious, against an abortion doctor on trial for murder.
The charges — including three counts of first-degree murder, five counts of abuse of a corpse and one count of infanticide — were dropped Tuesday as Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s defense attorney Jack McMahon began to make his case.
Judge Jeffery Rinehart ruled the judgment of acquittal on those counts — meaning that he felt there wasn’t enough evidence to bring those to a jury.