By Steve Tawa and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jurors who are now a week into deliberations in the capital murder trial of West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell today requested a readback of about five hours’ worth of testimony from a former medical assistant at Gosnell’s clinic.
And they’ll get it, starting first thing Wednesday morning.
The charges against Dr. Gosnell include first-degree murder in the deaths of four babies allegedly born alive and viable and then, according to prosecutors, killed by either Gosnell or a member of his staff (see related stories).
Jurors want to revisit the testimony of Lynda Williams, one of four former clinic workers who pleaded guilty to third-degree murder charges.
Williams was on the stand for 1½ days (see related story).
Assistant DA Ed Cameron will read his questions, and a person he is fetching from the DA’s office will pretend that they are Williams, and read her answers.
Defense lawyer Jack McMahon, representing Gosnell, says he’ll do likewise for the cross-examination portion of Williams’ testimony.
“When you see a readback like that, it’s further evidence that they’re doing their job. It’s what we want them to do,” McMahon tells KYW Newsradio.
Court observers say the readback method will make the effort less tedious, rather than having the court stenographer read all 273 pages of Williams’ testimony.