And, joining us this morning for legal analysis on the verdict in the Gosnell trial is defense attorney Enrique Latoison and he’s live in our digital operation center. Good morning, Enrique.
So, first, real briefly, what was your reaction to the verdict yesterday?
Well, I would say the verdict was not really a surprise, based on the fact that they did take so long to deliberate in this matter. Some of the questions they were asking to be read back from the court, some of the transcript information that came out, I started to get the feeling they were leaning towards guilty verdicts of this case.
So, let’s talk about the penalty phase. Defense attorney Jack McMahon says he doesn’t regret not putting Dr. Gosnell on the stand. Do you think you will put him on the stand for the penalty phase?
I would think you would expect to see him testify during the penalty phase. Obviously, the jury is going to have to consider the aggravating circumstances that the common wealth is going to present to the jury. They have to come beyond a reasonable doubt, determination of aggravating circumstances in order to order the death penalty in this case. Mr. McMahon will put on mitigating circumstances to off said those aggravating circumstances. Some of those circumstances from mitigation can be no prior criminal history, his contacts with the community, his age, his mental capacity at the time of the crime. And, of course, some of the aggravating circumstances the __ office will put through will be that this was a child under 12 years old, possibly torture killing, and possibly the fact that this murder was done during the commission of another felony.
Yeah, talk a little bit more about what the jury faces when they have to decide life in prison or the death penalty for Dr. Gosnell.
Well, right now, with the first three murder convictions, it’s already automatic life in prison, except if they come back with the death penalty. It will be another long process. They will probably be a week listening to evidence, multiple people testifying. I’m sure it will also be a very emotional penalty phase and, they will have to go and deliberate again. This story has already proven itself to be a jury that takes their time and deliberates this matter and still, right now, they are under the same instructions they were during the trial. You’re not allowed to read or do your own investigation, read newspapers, or do any kind of research or look at the media in any way shape or form.
Right. Enrique Latoison, thanks so much for spending time with us this morning. We appreciate it.