Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dropped Florida charges expose why the Gosnell case stands out

I've said before that the Kermit Gosnell case is unique, not in what Gosnell did, but in how authorities and even the press responded. We now have a glaring example in Florida.

“No Common Sense Involved”: Prosecutors Drop Case Against Abortion Worker

Belkis Gonzales, by all accounts, delivered a live-born 22-week baby at a Florida abortion mill when the doctor failed to show up and care for the patient. Gonzales cut the baby's cord, stuck her in a biohazard bag to suffocate, and tossed the bag onto the facility roof to hide the body. The baby, Shanice Denise Osbourne, was moving and gasping for breath until she was bagged up to die.

A distraught employee told prolifers outside, who called the police. It took two tips from employees, and two trips by cops to the clinic, to recover Shanice's body for an autopsy.

From the Operation Rescue article:

“We spoke with both the Hialeah police and the prosecutor’s office in this case numerous times. The police indicated to us that they wanted Gonzalez charged with a homicide, but prosecutors dragged their feet every inch of the way,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue.

The case prompted outrage from the pro-life community. Even the Florida Legislature called for charges against Gonzalez. Nevertheless, it took nearly three years for prosecutors to finally charge Gonzalez and that was only after public pressure was brought to bear. Two more years of what has become known as “defense by delay” followed, knowing that the longer the case drug on, the more likelihood that witnesses would change their testimony or drop from the case. That is exactly what eventually happened.

“Everyone wants to use common sense. There was no common sense involved in this case. We went strictly on the letter of the law,” Ed Griffith, spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office told Operation Rescue this morning. “The physicians backed away from the position that she was practicing medicine. We had no prosecutable case.”

Sullenger expressed to Griffith that this action would only make it more likely that Gonzalez would reoffend at the cost of the life or health of additional women and babies. The concerns were shrugged off by Griffith.

“There is no fundamental difference between what Gonzalez did to Baby Shanice and what Kermit Gosnell did to babies at his ‘house of horrors’ in Philadelphia. The lack of common sense lies with the prosecutor’s office, not with the law,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

“There’s little doubt that prosecutors did not aggressively pursue this case,” said Sullenger. “When abortion is involved, it can be very difficult to get justice because of a political climate that seeks to protect abortionists at any cost. That is beginning to change, but this case illustrates that there is still a long way to go.”

Renelique, the abortionist who ignored calls from the clinic, had his Florida medical license revoked over the incident. President Obama made public statements criticizing Rev. O’Neal Dozier who officiated at Shanice’s funeral, held over two years after her untimely death. Shanice’s mother, Sycloria Williams, has since expressed remorse for the attempted abortion and has filed a civil suit against those responsible for her baby’s death.

“If there is to be any justice for Shanice, now it will have to come through the civil court. We pray that case will continue to move forward and bear a positive result. Abortion workers must be put on notice that they are not above the law, and that eventually their misdeeds will catch up to them in a court of law,” said Sullenger.

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