Case against abortion doctor is ‘hype and exaggeration,’ defense says

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PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — The defense attorney for a Philadelphia abortion doctor charged with murder in the deaths of four babies on Monday attacked prosecutors’ evidence that live births took place at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s clinic as he presented closing arguments in the case.

Gosnell, 72, is accused of killing babies with scissors that were used to cut their spinal cords. Authorities allege that some of the infants were born viable and alive during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy.

Although he did not call a single witness to the stand, Gosnell’s defense attorney, Jack McMahon, gave an impassioned, 2 1/2-hour closing argument to the jury refuting the prosecution’s evidence and once again claiming that none of the infants was killed; rather, he said, they were already dead as a result of Gosnell administering the drug Digoxin, which can cause abortion.

McMahon, stalking the jury box, accused prosecutors of “the most extraordinary hype and exaggeration in the history of the criminal justice system,” even adding that they are “elitist” and “racist.”

Gosnell, who is African-American, has been accused by authorities of preying on low-income, minority women. McMahon argued that Gosnell offered people who were poor and without health insurance access to health care.

“These are desperate, young girls who were in trouble. But he provided these desperate young girls with relief,” McMahon said.

Flipping through a series of photos of the Women’s Medical Clinic, McMahon argued that the images rebuffed their “House of Horrors” claim.

“This isn’t a perfect place by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not what they say it is,” McMahon bellowed. “Are you going to believe Mr. Cameron or your lying eyes.”

McMahon then asked the jury to find courage and “be fair,” he said.

“Be true to yourself,” he said, “Go by what the evidence is, not what everyone wants it to be.