View Full Version : Andrea Yates
March-12th-2002, 11:25 PM
I do believe there is such a thing as a legitimate insanity defense, but I had severe doubts as to its' application in this case. Apparently, judging by the speed with which the verdict was rendered, the jury did too. Yates' lawyer's opinion: "It seems to me that we're still back in the days of the Salem witchcraft, where you take a demonized woman and take her life." Early favorite for asinine statement of the year, IMO.<br /><br />The most damning testimony to me were the statements Yates made after the murders, which indicated both that she understood what she had done and had been planning to kill her children for at least some length of time. This was more than just a lapse into post partum dementia; although there is clearly some malevolent pathology involved when a woman drowns her own children, I don't see it meeting the standard for the insanity defense in this case.<br /><br />We've discussed other cases before, and I've often found the opinions expessed very interesting at least and enlightening at times. I was wondering what others thought about the verdict and what should the jury decide now in the penalty phase. As I understand it, the choice is between death and life in prison with parole eligibility in 40 years. As I have said before, I believe the death penalty should be used only in extraordinarily heinous crimes, and I think this is such a case. I have heard arguments that execution would be a kindness for Yates compared to sitting in prison for the rest of her life and contemplating what she's done, but the sentence should not be about what's kind or cruel, but about what's just. When I think of those five kids and what they must have gone through, I think the death penalty is well within the realm of reasonable justice.<br /> <br /> <small>[ March 13, 2002, 05:27 AM: Message edited by: Fitzman ]</small>
March-13th-2002, 03:15 AM
She didn't kill one in a fit of emotional instability. She methodically drowned FIVE children and then called the cops. She knew what she was doing. She knew it was wrong. She's guilty. <br /><br />As far as the penalty phase goes. l'm just glad I don't have to make that decision. I will say that if she DOES get the death penalty, I don't think I'll lose too much sleep over it.
March-13th-2002, 06:28 AM
What needs to be understood here is the legal difference between being insane and being not guilty bby reason of insanity. Not guilty by reason of insanity means one either is incapable of distinguishing right from wrong, was mentally incapable of understanding his actions, or had an uncontrollable compulsion that forced him to carry out an action. Andrea Yates may be nuts, but she definitely had no legitimate claim to the insanity defense. As far as sentencing goes, though, insanity can be a mitigating factor. I think she will and should avoid the death penalty on grounds of diminished mental capacity. What she did was absolutely heinous and probably merits the death penalty, but I wouldn't feel right handing out such a sentence, and I think the jury will likely feel the same way. Still, this is TX. ....
March-13th-2002, 06:43 AM
The women drowned 5 kids. No way should the Taxpayers shell out the cash to keep her alive and well fed for the rest of her life.<br /><br />I say let the power surge.
March-14th-2002, 09:57 AM
You guys are gonna love this:<br /><br /><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24155-2002Mar13.html" target="_blank">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24155-2002Mar13.html</a><br /><br />Discuss amongst yourselves ...
March-14th-2002, 11:55 AM
I respectfully disagree with you guys. While you're right that she did understand what she was doing, considering that as the only qualification of the insanity defense misses the point. This woman had a serious mental imbalance going on, which is the hallmark of the whole post-partem depression condition. Unfortunately for her, her husband wouldn't let her get more than two or three months removed from one birth before poppin' another one in the oven. Plus, we know she had been commited previous to the crime, and that the husband went on the record early and often saying that she had been released prematurely.<br /><br />Obviously this is a heinous crime that can't be explained. Which is precisely why it falls under the auspices of 'not being in control of one's faculties'. Do you guys think she is a threat to society? Or just those from her womb? Pregnancy is a process that allows us to maintain the species, but royally screws with a woman's body. The fetus, being utterly dependant, takes what it needs (hormonally) from the mom, and her body replaces what is used with higher levels of counterbalancing hormones. When the birth occurs, there is a period during which the hormone levels reset - for some women it's a few days, for others it takes months, for some they never recover. Yates is in the last case.<br /><br />Do you guys think she had it in for those poor children for something they did? If not, the demand that she, too, pay for her life is merely an expression of the base desire for social retribution. Killing her only adds another Yates family member to the body count. Although vengeance may feel neat and justified, it's just a further escalation of murder. Sanitized, obscured, perhaps; murder nonetheless.<br /><br />As for the specious argument that incarceration or being commited to the funny farm would cost we taxpayers more than offing her, think again. This kind of case, with national coverage, is exactly the type that foes of the death penalty (like me) immediately rush to condemn. Advocacy groups (which I don't belong to, just in case y'all are getting hot at me by now) will be sure to mount as many legal challenges as possible, with the best lawyers they can pay for, and in the end the time and tax dollars wasted on insisting on murdering a woman who is clearly mentally ill will far outnumber that which would be needed to keep her alive and medicated for the rest of her life. And in the latter scenario, we would be killing one less american.<br /><br />C'mon, none of you really believe that there are moms out there who would see her get committed and say to themselves "Oh, sweet, now I can off my kids, too"? Please. The Texification of american morality is so frightening as to have become midievel. America should hold itself higher.
March-14th-2002, 03:29 PM
Actually a teacher in Virginia, in the US, who also suffered from post-parterm depression killed her husband not so long ago. She tried to kill her self and her baby I believe. Thankfully she was unsuccesful. I believe more research needs to be done on this condition.<br /><br />"Fairfax Woman Free on Bond in Husband's Death<br /><br />Postpartum Depression Cited in Stabbing of Popular High School Rowing Coach<br />Article 15 of 39 found <br />Tom JackmanWashington Post Staff Writer <br />January 23, 2002; Page B2 <br />Section: Metro <br />Word Count: 463 <br /><br />As Seema Rothstein lay bleeding on a gurney at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Officer Kenneth Brennan feared that she might die before telling anyone who stabbed her and her husband at their Springfield home two days after Thanksgiving. Brennan knew that her husband, Eric Rothstein, was dead. Their attacker presumably was at large. Brennan stepped between the emergency room doctors and nurses and got straight to the point: "Who stabbed you?" he asked Rothstein. "<br /> <br /> <small>[ March 14, 2002, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: Kefka ]</small>
March-14th-2002, 03:39 PM
I wonder how long it takes for Law and Order to have a case similar to this one?<br /><br />I cant say ive followed the case so i dont know all that much in regard to details.
March-14th-2002, 04:46 PM
Not long I assume.
March-15th-2002, 02:53 AM
Sorry Smooty, I don't buy the line that she must be insane simply because she performed a despicable act. Why bother having a justice system at all then?<br /><br />She knew she had severe post partem depression problems after her second child was born. Her solution? Go ahead and have three more children. You can consider alcoholism a disease if you wish, but an alcoholic who performs a grisly murder under the influence is still a murderer.<br /><br />Her arguement was she knew it was against the law to kill her kids, but she did anyway because SHE thought it was right, therefore she must be insane. Heck, I disagree with the law and think it's ok to go 70 on the highway, but I'll pay the ticket if I get pulled over. Andrea Yates just got pulled over. It's now her time to pay the ticket.
March-15th-2002, 10:31 AM
Didn't she also claim that the Devil was telling her to do things?
March-17th-2002, 03:00 AM
"No way should the Taxpayers shell out the cash to keep her alive and well fed for the rest of her life." - Kilmer17<br /><br />Actually, when all is said and done, it usually costs much more to put someone to death than it does to house them and feed them for the remainder of their lives. Perhaps an examination of the appeal system is in order, but as it stand today that is true. <br /><br />I didn't mention that as an opinion in this case or the death penalty in general. I only mention it because I often hear "taxpayer dollars" as a reason to execute vs. imprison.
March-17th-2002, 02:18 PM
Brave - That is true, but by overcrowding prisons with people that should be dead, we allow other criminals to get back on the street to commit other crimes, therefore forcing taxpayers to funnel more money in the justice system. It's a vicious circle, and it's an issue without a win-win outcome.<br /><br />In the case of Andrea Yates, I do feel that insanity was a reasonable defense, and life or death isn't as big of an issue in this case. I'm not quite sure why it was so heavily publicized. Yates will be sent to a small women's jail in Texas. The majority of criminal offenses are committed by males, and when speaking of overcrowding, we are speaking of male prisons.<br /><br />I am the biggest advocate of the death penalty you'll find anywhere, but I feel that life is suitable in this case. She obviously knows that what she did was wrong, so she'll have to think about it for 40 years. But with McVeigh, he had no remorse. I got really sick of hearing the media screaming that he was a martyr for weeks after his execution. Who friggin cares? He's gone, and everybody knows that he's a terrorist a$shole. But Yates, she is well aware of her crime. Life is worse than death in this case.<br /> <br /> <small>[ March 17, 2002, 08:20 PM: Message edited by: OrangeSkin ]</small>
March-18th-2002, 08:14 AM
Thats a result of the numerous appeals and extensions etc filed on behalf of the guilty. While I agree that it does cost more now, it shouldnt. A restructuring of our appeal system has been needed for years. A simple solution is a 2 appeals process with a time limit of 2 years. Exceptions can be made by the discovery of new evidence. But the most important aspect should be the accountability of the lawyers and advocacy groups. Make them foot the bill for any appeal over the allotted 2 or 2 years.<br /><br />While I wanted her to fry, I can accept the life without. But watch how many groups and attorneys start arguing that as well.
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