Andrea Yates found NOT GUILTY!
......by reason of insanity. Thank goodness the last thing this already troubled woman needed was to be murdered by the state of Texas. I wonder what Tom Cruise thinks about this?
I pray that she will get the help she needs and maybe someday have a chance for a life again.
I agree. If someone (e.g. her husband) had only seen the signs that she was spiralling into such an abyss and basically losing her mind, maybe those precious kids could have been saved... and Andrea as well. I can't even begin to imagine the hell she lives in daily.
I believe that there are many other women rotting in jail in similar (although perhaps not as grisly) situations whose severe post partem depression was not caught/diagnosed.
I really see such an obvious difference between this poor woman and say, Susan Smith, the evil witch who killed her 2 kids by strapping them into their car seats then driving the car into the water. That woman needs to rot in hell.
you're kidding. Wow...when it happened we lived just about 5 min. away from her house!
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
In a nutshell, what's the diff? I do remember SS trying to pin it on a black man. That stank, but I vaguely remember thinking she was also mentally ill.
Originally Posted by RealtorGal
Oh, there is a world of difference. As you said, Smith did hat she did, and then tried to hide it. That showed the presence of mind, the knowledge that what she did was wrong, etc. Yeats did none of those things. Also, she exhibited signs of mental illness before; as I recall, her mother-in-law even stayed visiting longer than planned because she didn't want to leave Andrea alone. Of course, noone ever thinks that their loved ones are capable of what Yeats ultimately did. Back when Yeats was convicted, I remember thinking that if this woman is deemed sane, than why do we have statutes about this at all!
Originally Posted by Spun Silver
MY TVC 1 5
IMO, anyone who kills someone else is either "mentally ill" or it is an "act of self defense" - only one of those things I would agree with. EOS
Sean I wrestle with that too. I mean in order to take the life of someone else you have to be mentally ill unless like you say it is an act of self defense. But then you hear of people who kill to eliminate a witness to their crime or during the course of a robbery or drug deal. To people who think "normally" there still has to be something mentally wrong with people who do those things. What is the criteria for deciding between mental illness and evil? This is why I am soooooooooo against the death penalty. I don't think you can ever be sure in some of these cases. I would much rather keep someone in prison than be guilty of state supported murder.
(the can is open slither out little worms)
I agree that she was let down by a lot of people... mostly her drs who kept sending her home and giving the family the idea that she wasn't as bad as they thought...
what I struggle with is she did have enough thought to do it so that she wouldn't be stopped... that's my biggest problem with this whole thing. If she truly wasn't capable of real thought, she certainly did a heck of a job in planning...
In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
As far as I am concerned -- and I know you can't do this legally under the circumstances, but the HUSBAND should have been tried as an accessory here, because he, IMHO, was part of the problem.
When the police arrived at the Yates home and discovered the bodies, they called the husband home from work. They wouldn't let him into the house (it now being a crime scene and all) so he had to stand on the patio. One of the cops called out to him from the kitchen and asked him if he could get him a drink of water or something, to which the husband replied, "Yeah, good luck finding a clean glass in THIS house", or something along that line. To me, this indicates that Andrea Yates had a lot more to deal with than just the children and the post-partum depression; apparently she also had a husband who was about as supportive as absolutely nothing. Which are still not really good enough reasons for drowning your children, but with an attitude like that from her own husband, I can certainly understand how she could snap.
MY TVC 1 5
Last edited by SeaniBu; 07-27-2006 at 08:49 PM.
But there is a strange strand of people who confess to crimes like murder all the time. Apparently when a serious crime like a particularly brutal murder is announced in the UK the police recieve many false confessions and have to work hard and waste time dismissing the fake confessions. People can also be forced to confess against their will so i'm not that keen on relying on a confession without a a thoroughly investigated case.
Originally Posted by SeaniBu
Of course (thankfully) we don't have the death penalty over here in the UK so its not as serious but still pretty serious - we've had several high profile cases where people who have been serving life sentences have been let out because they were wrongly imprisoned for crimes that they might have been sentenced to death for in the US. To my mind if you can save one innocent life by not sentencing a bunch of people to death, that has to win out everytime no?
Also rape and child molestation charges are often difficult to get to the bottom of. I agree they are of the most heinous crimes that can be committed and (at least in the UK) with evidential laws being what they are and an unsympathetic police force, the trauma of going through a trial is often just as bad for the victim. One of my closest freidsn is a criminal solicitor and often (certainly in rape cases) it hinges on the testimony of one person against another...i'm not sure i'd be happy with someon being sentenced to death because of the testimony of one person.
Another whole can of worms is "statutory rape" where both parties are conseting but one of the party is under the age of consent...surely no death penalty there?
Just also wondering, why is rape/child molestation any different to murder...why is someone who kills someone else, just by carrying out those acts "mentally ill", surely the same must be said for child molesters and rapists too - anyone with a properly functioning mental capacity would not molest children or commit rape?
I can't see where this has been mentioned -
Actually, the prosecution was not asking for the death penalty (at least in the second trial). So that was not an option.
Texas state law needs to be changed to add the "guilty but insane" verdict.
There is still a possibility that they could try her for the murder of the other two children sometime in the future, especially if it looks like she is going to be released from the mental health system.
It was an awful tragedy by any definition, but I agree with Johnny Coop. From all accounts, the husband disregarded the clear warnings from the previous pregnancy that his wife was predisposed to PPD and was uncooperative in her treatment. He basically put in her into a situation where she was homeschooling and taking care of five young children and had already shown that she was cracking under the stress. I didn't care for him at all. I do agree that -in this case- a mental hospital is much more appropriate than a prison. It's a very sad story for everyone, but that husband always rubbed me the wrong way.
You are entitled to your opinions. But I just feel that you don't truly understand the entire "process" of what is going on in this case.
I am befuddled why anyone would think that putting a confessed multiple child killer into a mental health system that is overpopulated and underfunded is more appropriate than putting them into a criminal justice system that can provide the same, if not better, so-called treatment - for her lifetime.
There are prisons in Texas that are geared specifically toward the mentally ill. One of them is the prison that Ms. Yates was incarcerated in prior to winning her appeal for a second trial and being relocated to the state hospital in the same town.
While I agree that Mr. Yates was insensitive to the entire situation prior to the murders of his five children (and should've bore some responsibility in the legal process), I do not agree about placing blame so much on the mental health providers that treated her. There is a strict guideline in Texas for whether a person is "commitable" - and that is whether they are a danger to themselves or others. If they are deemed not a danger after evaluation in a mental health facility then, by law, they have to be released to a less-restrictive environment. My guess is that Ms. Yates or Mr. Yates (or a combination of the two) were able to convince the treatment teams that she was able to live at home, probably with an accompanying medication regimen. Whether that regimen was complied with or not is suspect to me, as many mental patients and/or their families believe the medication is not required and discontinue it when in an unsupervised setting.
My problem with Mr. Yates specifically is related to the fact that he obviously knew/felt that she needed some supervision while he was not at home, based on the arrangement to have the mother come over during the daytime. If, based on that knowledge, he failed to continue to seek inpatient treatment with accurate information (or compliance with prescribed medication) or seek full-time live-in assistance, then I believe that makes him culpable.
I also have a problem with the fact that the jury in the second trial was not allowed to know that Ms. Yates could possibly be allowed to be discharged back into the general population if their verdict was Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. I think that juries have the right to full knowledge of the consequences of their verdicts. I don't think that anyone believes that Ms. Yates should ever be allowed to walk free on the streets ever again - mentally ill or malingering (which is prevalent in forensic cases such as this). A verdict of guilty (due to the lack of Texas law not having a "Guilty but Insane" verdict) would've sent her back to a lifetime of confinement and treatment in the prison hospital that I mentioned earlier. And, personally, I believe that would've been the proper option in this case.
While she is a patient in the Texas mental health system, her "treatment" will consist of medication (if deemed appropriate by her treatment team) and rehabilitation activities that include arts and crafts and other low-functioning-level entertainment. Under Texas law mental patients are required to be offered the opportunity to be involved in at least twenty hours of such activity. After hours there are coed dances. etc. She also has the opportunity to work in a client worker position, which is usually washing dishes, for minimum wage. But, due to underfunding and overpopulation, one on one counseling or psychotherapy that you may have seen depicted in movies or on television is basically non-existent. In other words, unless you've worked in the mental health system in Texas you have a misconception about what psychiatric treatment entails.
The current plans are to send Ms. Yates to a "maximum security" hospital for evaluation. When she is deemed "not manifestly dangerous" she will be referred to a Dangerous Review Board. If she passes the review board & is found not dangerous by them, she will be sent back to the minimum security hospital she was at prior to her second trial. And from there she may be released back into the community to live life as an person innocent of killing three of her five children.
< The minimum security hospital has no fences or walls, although the wards are locked. However, unauthorized departures while patients are off the ward (or escapes, as you might call them) are commonplace.>
It is my hope that when that day comes that she will be tried and convicted of murdering her other two children and placed where she truly belongs - in a state prison hospital where she will be confined for life. Because it is there that she will be locked safely away forever and has the real opportunity to receive more individualized counseling and treatment in a system that has superb funding. Plus she will then have to face what she did, which was to methodically and systematically drown her five babies - one that she had to chase down and struggle with in order to complete the process. An act that she deliberately timed to happen during the interval that she was alone in the house with the children.
As an aside, I might add that some of the mental health system's more notorious patients are people that previously worked in either the health care profession or justice system. People that, literally, get away with murder and other heinous crimes. Ms. Yates was a nurse.
Of course if you think it is appropriate that Ms. Yates be released back into the general population and free to reproduce more children - then nevermind.
And, if you haven't guessed, I work for the mental health system in Texas.
Last edited by tvcats; 07-29-2006 at 10:10 PM.
And we all know what a therapeutic atmosphere the state of Texas penal system provides. Sorry but you will never convince me that any prison is a better place for a patient than a hospital. Two words as to why there should not be a death penalty anywhere for anything.....Fred Zain.