NBC 10 News Philadelphia, WCAUTV 2013-05-07 4PM Gosnell Trial Commentary

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The jury in the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell has wrapped up day 6 of deliberations, still without a verdict. Jurors ended the day with a question about the testimony from former Gosnell employee Linda Williams. Now, Williams testified about one of the babies Gosnell is accused of killing. The jurors are expected to hear what Williams’ testimony read first thing tomorrow morning. Gosnell, of course, is charged with four babies and one adult at his West Philadelphia clinic. So, could jurors be any closer to a verdict? Joining us live now for some legal prospective from our digital operations center is defense attorney Enrique Latoison, who represented Aida Guzman and others, of course, Aida Guzman’s case against police lieutenant Jonathon Josey. It’s good to see you here again. Let me ask you right off the bat, many of the witnesses in this trial, like the woman we just heard about Linda Williams, they were previous employees of Gosnell. Now, she testified they she performed some of these illegal procedures with Gosnell. Because she plea bargained, does that affect her credibility with jurors? What do you think?

Well, it depends on how the prosecution represents it to the jury. Obviously, it’s up to the prosecution to tell the jury first and to hear it from them first that the witness is a cooperating witness. Now, the defense attorney in this case is going to make sure that the jury understands that the person has been convicted of a crime but not has yet been sentenced and could have a __ interest in the outcome of the case.

You know, Enrique, yesterday there were concerns that the jury had seen a broadcast of the case on cable network over the weekend. They are not sequestered. You and I, we are both attorneys, we have heard the arguments back and forth here on whether or not jurors should be sequestered. I’m curious as to your thoughts on this.

Well, this a judgment call that has to be made by the judge. They have to anticipate how long the commitment could be in a trial like this, it being 6 weeks long. The jury is still instructed not to discuss the case, not even amongst themselves, with other people. They are instructed to not look at any kind of media coverage or do any kind of research on their own. The court must have felt comfortable enough that the jury is following their oath and it is not violating those rules.

And, it has been a week now that the jury got this case, 6 full days of deliberations. You surprised no verdict yet?

I’m not surprised. When you’re having a case that went 6 weeks, 54 witnesses, 250 charges, it could take one day just to come up with a system to systematically deliberate each and every charge. They have to vote a foreman. They have to decide how they are going to go about each and every charge. That could be voting. That could be discussion after voting. Each charge has to be broken down and each charge has its own set of elements.

And they will be back at it tomorrow morning. Enrique Latoison, thank you so much for taking time to talk to us.

Thank you

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