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Convicted Pa. abortion doctor forgoes appeal, avoids death penalty

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies who were born alive has agreed to give up his right to an appeal and will be spared a potential death sentence.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted Monday of first-degree murder in the deaths of the babies who were delivered alive and killed with scissors. The 72-year-old Gosnell gave up his appeal rights Tuesday, and prosecutors agreed to two life sentences without parole.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty because Gosnell killed more than one person, and his victims were especially vulnerable given their age. But Gosnell's advanced age had made it unlikely he would ever be executed before his appeals ran out.

Gosnell is to be sentenced Wednesday in the death of the third baby, an involuntary manslaughter conviction in the death of a patient and hundreds of lesser counts.

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