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May 13th, 2013
05:08 PM ET

Gosnell trial evidence: You can't unsee those photos

Doctor Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of babies born alive in his abortion clinic. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the death of a woman who came to him for an abortion, 21 counts of aborting the unborn 24 weeks or older, the cutoff in Pennsylvania, and 211 counts of violation of informed consent.

A warning to readers that the details of this story are gruesome.

Gosnell ran a ghoulish abortion clinic for decades in Philadelphia, until federal officials raided it in 2010 on suspicion of prescription drug dealing.

What they found inside was far, far worse. Bloody blankets. Dirty surgical tools. Bags holding aborted fetuses. Prosecutors gathered evidence that showed Gosnell snipped the spinal cords of infants during abortions he was performing.

The prosecutor sobbed while the verdict was read, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said. Gosnell's reaction was more subdued.

"He appeared in my view to be shocked, he was upset, he sort of let out a sigh, and was shaking his head back and forth," said Hostin.

Hostin, who said she has seen many gruesome things as a federal prosecutor, viewed some of the evidence in this case.

"I can't un-see those pictures," said Hostin. "I imagine that the jury had a tough time with it. This is one of the more gruesome cases that I've seen."

Hostin said she is not only a lawyer, she is also a mother, and as such was deeply affected by some of the evidence.

"Seeing some of the photos of the babies, seeing some of the photos of the incisions on the back of their necks with their spinal chords snipped, it was tough," said Hostin. "If it was difficult for me, someone who's used to seeing these kinds of things, I can only imagine how difficult it may have been for the jury."

Gosnell's attorney, Jack McMahon, told CNN that his team put on a vigorous defense.

"But the jury spoke, and we respect the jury's verdict," said McMahon. "It started with eight murder counts in this case and five of them were not guilty. Three were guilty. Obviously, the jury took their job very seriously. They were conscientious. It was an emotional case, and I respect their verdict."

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