Joining us right now for legal analysis on the Kermit Gosnell trial is defense attorney Enrique Latoison, who actually has been with us throughout this afternoon. Mr. Latoison represented Aida Guzman in the lieutenant Josey video case. Mr. Latoison, let me start off by asking you, in fact, Darlene Jones had referred to this, the next step in all of this is the penalty phase, the death penalty phase. Talk to us a little bit about what will happen when you talk about mitigating factors and aggravating factors, will it be the same jury that was in the original trial? Walk us through this next phase.
The next stage will have the exact same jury members. I expect it to be a long stage. They will be sitting there listening to evidence and witnesses. The prosecution will show aggravating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances can be a child under 12 years old, a torture killing, a killing of a heinous act. And, then, the defense in this case will show mitigating circumstances. They will show the jury information, as far as no prior criminal history, community involvement, a person suffering from mental defect. And, basically, the jury will have to decide beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not the aggravating circumstances rises to a level to give the death penalty in this case.
Now, we heard Jack McMahon when he was speaking to the press say that this was the defense attorney that he didn’t have any regrets about not calling Gosnell to the witness stand to testify. He also didn’t call any witnesses on his behalf. This is a little Monday morning quarterbacking, but what are your thoughts on that?
Well, I mean, once again, this was an in time decision that was made at the time by Mr. McMahon. We don’t know what evidence and information that he was privy to attorney privileged information that we are not aware of that allowed him to make that decision. I will say that with the penalty phase coming up, I do expect there to be a lot of witnesses called by the defense and I definitely believe there will be a different strategy, as far as moving forward and presenting mitigating circumstances to the jury in this matter.
Do you think we will hear from Kermit Gosnell during the death penalty phase?
I mean, in my opinion, I expect that will happen. I think that the jury would want to hear from him. Obviously, I am not the attorney in this matter, so that is to be seen but I expect that the jury would hear from him. The mitigating circumstances in this case are going to have to be shown to the jury for the jury not to come back with the death penalty.
Alright, Enrique Latoison, thank you for taking time to talk to us today.
Thank you for having me.
Death penalty phase starts next week.