NBC 10 News Philadelphia, WCAUTV 2013-05-06 4PM Gosnell Trial Commentary

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Five days of deliberations and still no verdict in the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Today, jurors asked the judge to find the most serious charges against the former abortion doctor, first and third degree murder. Now, this is the fourteenth time the jury has come back with a question. Once they get passed the murder charges, the jury will still have to consider 200 other counts against Gosnell. And, joining us live from our digital operations center with more insights on these developments is attorney Enrique Latoison. He represented Aida Guzman in the case against police lieutenant Jonathon Josey. It’s good to have you with us today.

Thank you for having me.

Now, let me ask you first. We learned today that the jury had questions about the differences in degrees, between first and third degree murder. What does tell you about what’s going on with the jurors?

Well, basically, the difference between a first degree and third degree, I’ll you an example. A first degree murder would be if someone were standing outside of an occupied house, took a firearm, went into the house, point it at someone specifically and shot someone. That would be a specific intent to kill. The difference of a third degree murder, to use the same example, would be if you were standing outside that same occupied house, you knew the house was occupied, you fired into the house, and then you were to kill someone. That shows a coldness of heart, a reckless behavior. That would be the difference of a first degree and a third degree as an example. It is a very difficult concept to gather just in general. As far as there are so many different counts in this particular case and there are so many different charges that have to be deliberated, it’s hard to tell if they are focusing on Ms. Mongar at this point or the alleged victims in the case at this point.

Mr. Latoison you make a good point. You talk about that there are some 250 counts here. So, given the fact that there are so many charges involved and there are multiple defendants, is it unusual that they are still deliberating five days in? I take it we should be surprised by that.

I would not be surprised in a case like this, where there are 54 witnesses, 200 plus charges, 6 weeks of trial. And, you also have to understand that each individual charge has its own set of circumstances, own set of time and facts and different testimony for each individual charge. So, if you look at that, and the jury, obviously, in this case, is taking their duty very seriously, it would be something that would be very time consuming and them not being attorneys, it’s understandable they would have a lot of different questions.

Quickly, I want to take you back to how this case was conducted, the fact that defense attorney Jack McMahon didn’t call any witnesses, he didn’t call Kermit Gosnell to testify. You, as a defense attorney, what do you glean from how he’s conducted this case?

Well, I will say as a defense attorney, I will say that the decision for him not to call witnesses not does mean he did not have witnesses that were prepped and ready to go in this particular matter. However, it’s actually a real time in the moment decision that must be made. He, obviously, has to consider the privileged information that only he has that no one else is privy to. He has to consider the information that came out. Mr. McMahon is known to be a very effective cross examiner and might had elicited all the information and facts that he felt were important to defend his client and, therefore, did not need to or make…

We can construe that maybe he felt confident about his case or, perhaps, how the prosecution had conducted theirs. Mr. Latoison, thank you so much for taking time to speak to us today.

Thank you very much.

I’m sure we will be checking back with you.

Thank you.

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