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Old 07-12-2006, 08:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ongoing Yates Trial

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/07/11/ya....ap/index.html

Quote:
...Debbie A. Holmes met Yates about 20 years ago when both were nurses at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She said she still visits Yates and writes her letters.

Yates, 42, is being retried in her children's 2001 bathtub drowning deaths because her capital murder conviction was overturned by an appeals court that ruled erroneous testimony might have influenced the jury.

She has again pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Her attorneys say Yates suffered from severe postpartum psychosis and did not know it was wrong to kill 7-year-old Noah, 5-year-old John, 3-year-old Paul, 2-year-old Luke and 6-month-old Mary....
I read a lot of news, both cnn, and elsewhere, so I've watched this trial for a while.

My only question for this particular discussion (Though to see it move on elsewhere is great too) is how can "Not knowing it was wrong to drown 4 children" count as a defense???

I mean really, in my opinion, that justifies locking her up even more. Psychopaths who serial kill almost never see what they do as wrong. They, for the most part, are completly devoid of a moral compass. And we justifiably lock them up, or execute them.

How can not knowing right from wrong justify as a defense??

Your thoughts?
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's all too bazaar. You really have to be an expert to deal with this stuff.
How can a normal person relate to the mind of someone who thinks (for a while) that killing 4 kids is ok.

Also, it's a lawyer's job to exploit the system...to do what he/she can for a client.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you read up at all about postpartum psychosis? From what I understand, it can be vicious. And that's what an insanity defense is all about. Someone under a psychosis such as this won't see themselves as damaged, it is up to family and friends to identify it.

I believe that the plea in a case like this should be "guilty by reason of insanity", and that psychological treatment should be in order, not punishment.

Oh, we have some older threads on this: using Google's search, they are:
Andrea Yates to get new trial - Tilted Forum Project
Texas mom's murder convictions overturned - Tilted Forum Project
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Last edited by Redlemon; 07-12-2006 at 08:40 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I was sure there had to be older threads, but I didn't use the google search. Will keep that in mind in the future.

She obviously needs help, but I just don't think that should replace punishment. I think some of both is in order. Someone who kills kids, much less their own kids, in my mind, should not be walking the streets any time in the next 50 years.
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, these threads always come around to "What's the purpose of prison: punishment or treatment"? And, at this point, we don't have an answer to that.
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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krwlz, there is a huge difference between a psychopath and someone experiencing a psychotic break. Ted Bundy was a psychopath who believed himself superior to societies notions of right or wrong.

Yates was alledgedly psychotic at the time that she killed her children. An "expert" psychiatric witness claimed that she got the idea from watching a program of a similar plot on television. How could the jury not be influenced by that statement? It was only discovered later that no program of that kind was ever aired.

I agree that there should be a punishment for what she did, but it certainly isn't first degree murder. I think you will agree, if you read up on her mental history prior to the death's of her children.

Requiring a retrial was a just decision, and I would still like to see her husband charged for psychological abuse and neglect.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yates never struck me as being particularly remorseful for having killed her five children. Granted, I have no children of my own. However, I feel confident that my reaction to having killed my children while I was temporarily insane would be very, very strong. If her mental problem was really a temporary condition related to her pregnancy, why does she look so composed in the court room?

Andrea Yates is a terrible human being and I sincerely hope she gets sentenced to life (or death) in this second trial.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would like to see her husband charged, if on nothing else, depraved indifference - he knew there was something wrong and didn't appear to do anything (at least according to accounts I've read)

However, this woman, psychotic break or not, chased after her eldest child in order to kill him... I can't forgive that.
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Old 07-12-2006, 05:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
Yates was alledgedly psychotic at the time that she killed her children. An "expert" psychiatric witness claimed that she got the idea from watching a program of a similar plot on television. How could the jury not be influenced by that statement? It was only discovered later that no program of that kind was ever aired.
Actually, that Television show thing was bull shit. They found out after the (original) trial that no such episode of law and order was ever aired. Or even produced.
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Old 07-12-2006, 05:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by krwlz
http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/07/11/ya....ap/index.html



I read a lot of news, both cnn, and elsewhere, so I've watched this trial for a while.

My only question for this particular discussion (Though to see it move on elsewhere is great too) is how can "Not knowing it was wrong to drown 4 children" count as a defense???

I mean really, in my opinion, that justifies locking her up even more. Psychopaths who serial kill almost never see what they do as wrong. They, for the most part, are completly devoid of a moral compass. And we justifiably lock them up, or execute them.

How can not knowing right from wrong justify as a defense??

Your thoughts?

Well the question becomes "do we put her in jail for a specific sentence or in a nuthouse until she's cured?"

If she's found to have not known it was wrong to drown the kids, then she's tossed in the funny farm and they won't let her go until they feel she's no longer insane -- - which can take a long time - even a lifetime.


The real question is why the husband isn't being charged with accessory to murder when he KNEW she was crazy, yet left his kids alone with her anyway.
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Old 07-12-2006, 05:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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by some accounts, she wasn't all that sane after the first four kids, he was the one who insisted on the last child...


and now he's remarried, I believe..
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
by some accounts, she wasn't all that sane after the first four kids, he was the one who insisted on the last child...


and now he's remarried, I believe..
...AND blew off her psychiatric meds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by politicophile
Yates never struck me as being particularly remorseful for having killed her five children. Granted, I have no children of my own. However, I feel confident that my reaction to having killed my children while I was temporarily insane would be very, very strong. If her mental problem was really a temporary condition related to her pregnancy, why does she look so composed in the court room?

Andrea Yates is a terrible human being and I sincerely hope she gets sentenced to life (or death) in this second trial.
Adam, please read up on where Yates was between the killings and her trial. She was heavily medicated, not composed.

Last edited by Elphaba; 07-12-2006 at 06:31 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The "I didn't know it was wrong" thing just sounds way to contrived by her lawyers. First it was "I'm a bad mother, I wanted to be punished" which in court room, sounds horrible for the defense. Then it's "I didn't know it was wrong"...

I'm sorry, even if you are crazy enough not to have a moral compass, something as simple as watching tv for over 40 yrs out to give you a good idea of what's accepted and not. She called the authorities after she did it.

I say, give her what she wanted...
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Come on, people, if she doesn't fit the definition of "insane" then who the hell does?

She was PSYCHOTIC when she did it...that means she has no anchor in reality. This whole "can you tell right from wrong" stuff is an overly simplistic legal mechanism based on an antiquated understanding of mental illness. I think a more appropriate question would be "were you unhinged from reality?" which she clearly was. Fine, she called the police, but that only indicates she knew it was wrong to other people; she was convinced that what she was doing was right by God. She was so distanced from reality (by her postpartum psychosis as well as an unhealthy dose of religious claptrap) that she actually thought it was better to kill the kids than to let them be tainted by continued exposure to her.

If you all who are thirsty for her blood can't find an ounce of compassion for her situation, I hope I never have to undergo trial by my "peers." If you ask me, justice has already been served on Andrea Yates - she will either die for her actions (which if you ask me would be a gross miscarriage of "justice") or have to live for the rest of her life knowing what she did. IF she ever recovers mentally, which is questionable. It doesn't matter what happens to her - she's in hell already.

Justice won't have been served in this case until the people around her who let her slip so far out of reality have taken responsibility for THEIR actions. Notice how quickly you condemn a woman who betrays your ideals of motherhood, but completely ignore the culpability of the men who saddled her with 5 kids, ignored her mental state, and poured hellfire and damnation rhetoric on her.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The real question is why the husband isn't being charged with accessory to murder when he KNEW she was crazy, yet left his kids alone with her anyway.

Let's not include EVERYONE in that condemnation Lurkette

Yates needs to go away for the rest of her life. Whether it's a mental hospital or a prison, I frankly don't care. You kill 5 kids, no matter what the reason, you should go away for life.

But Yates' husband should be charged with accessory to murder and sentenced to the max prison term. If it hadn't been for him continuing to get her pregnant despite the obvious psychosis, and then leaving her alone with the kids, this never would have happened.
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Old 07-14-2006, 08:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lurkette
Come on, people, if she doesn't fit the definition of "insane" then who the hell does?

She was PSYCHOTIC when she did it...that means she has no anchor in reality. This whole "can you tell right from wrong" stuff is an overly simplistic legal mechanism based on an antiquated understanding of mental illness. I think a more appropriate question would be "were you unhinged from reality?" which she clearly was. Fine, she called the police, but that only indicates she knew it was wrong to other people; she was convinced that what she was doing was right by God. She was so distanced from reality (by her postpartum psychosis as well as an unhealthy dose of religious claptrap) that she actually thought it was better to kill the kids than to let them be tainted by continued exposure to her.

If you all who are thirsty for her blood can't find an ounce of compassion for her situation, I hope I never have to undergo trial by my "peers." If you ask me, justice has already been served on Andrea Yates - she will either die for her actions (which if you ask me would be a gross miscarriage of "justice") or have to live for the rest of her life knowing what she did. IF she ever recovers mentally, which is questionable. It doesn't matter what happens to her - she's in hell already.

Justice won't have been served in this case until the people around her who let her slip so far out of reality have taken responsibility for THEIR actions. Notice how quickly you condemn a woman who betrays your ideals of motherhood, but completely ignore the culpability of the men who saddled her with 5 kids, ignored her mental state, and poured hellfire and damnation rhetoric on her.
Actually, according to her the Devil told her to do it, not god. I don't think I would listen to the devil.

And if shes so derranged, she wont know the differance between prison, the death penalty and psychiatric care anyway....

She clearly knows what's going on as it concerns her. Or else she might not be pleading not guilty.

And trust me,... I find him just as guilty. But unfortunatly, he isn't on trial, so I can't comment on him. Also, she didn't have the ability to say "No, I don't any more kids" It was entirely his fault??

I'm not saying he is innocent, far from it, but c'mon, people have to take responsibility for THEIR OWN ACTIONS. Everything else aside, I'm sick of people blaming what they did on someone, or something else.

If I, as a male, raped and drowned, or even just drowned 5 kids, and then claimed god (or the devil) told me to do it, and that I didn't know right from wrong, so I should be spared punishment, my guess is you would have a totally differant opinion on me.

I'd have people vying for everything from castration, to prison for life, to death, and no one sticking up for the "mentally derranged"

Last edited by krwlz; 07-14-2006 at 08:33 AM..
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shakran
Yates needs to go away for the rest of her life. Whether it's a mental hospital or a prison, I frankly don't care. You kill 5 kids, no matter what the reason, you should go away for life.

But Yates' husband should be charged with accessory to murder and sentenced to the max prison term. If it hadn't been for him continuing to get her pregnant despite the obvious psychosis, and then leaving her alone with the kids, this never would have happened.
I agree with your first paragraph - Yates should most definitely be either, 1) locked up for life with no possibility of EVER getting out, or 2) put to death. I honestly root for the latter - I don't feel she has the right to be alive any longer.

As far as her jackass husband "continuing to get her pregnant despite the obvious psychosis," I think that's complete bullshit. She had many options and ways of controlling her reproductive health. She could've, let's say, NOT had sex with him, or perhaps used the "rhythm" method of birth control? Or, perhaps, if her religion allowed it, used a sponge? Female condom? Diaphragm? Shot? Patch? IUD? PILL!?!? She could've chosen to have a tubal ligation at any point, too, yet she chose not to.

Yes, some of the blame for her mental disintegration falls squarely on hubby's shoulders, if only because of his neglect and indifference concerning his wife's mental state. 99.9% of the blame, however, is on HER. Frankly, I don't give a shit if she were nuts at the time, or drunk, or high as a kite - SHE KILLED HER CHILDREN. She deserves to die, too. Preferably by drowning her in her own bath tub.
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I agree with your first paragraph - Yates should most definitely be either, 1) locked up for life with no possibility of EVER getting out, or 2) put to death. I honestly root for the latter - I don't feel she has the right to be alive any longer.

As far as her jackass husband "continuing to get her pregnant despite the obvious psychosis," I think that's complete bullshit. She had many options and ways of controlling her reproductive health. She could've, let's say, NOT had sex with him, or perhaps used the "rhythm" method of birth control? Or, perhaps, if her religion allowed it, used a sponge? Female condom? Diaphragm? Shot? Patch? IUD? PILL!?!? She could've chosen to have a tubal ligation at any point, too, yet she chose not to.

Yes, some of the blame for her mental disintegration falls squarely on hubby's shoulders, if only because of his neglect and indifference concerning his wife's mental state. 99.9% of the blame, however, is on HER. Frankly, I don't give a shit if she were nuts at the time, or drunk, or high as a kite - SHE KILLED HER CHILDREN. She deserves to die, too. Preferably by drowning her in her own bath tub.

Read the second half of my last paragraph. He LEFT HER ALONE WITH THE KIDS even though he knew she was unstable and dangerous. That's wrong, and he should suffer for it. The other part was just him being stupid. Yes, she had the ability to refuse more kids, but she was also unstable and dangerous. We can't say she was nuts, and then expect her to make rational decisions regarding having children. He needed to make the call not to get her pregnant, too.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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And if shes so derranged, she wont know the differance between prison, the death penalty and psychiatric care anyway....
*dingdingdingdingding* That's pretty much the rationale behind not executing the insane, the young, and the mentally retarded in the first place. (That and the fact that they are seen as unable to participate effectively in their own defense. Which brings me to...

Quote:
She clearly knows what's going on as it concerns her. Or else she might not be pleading not guilty.
She's pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. She's admitted she did it, and really it's her legal team who's acting on her behalf. She's not eligible for the death penalty in the first place, actually, as the jury in her initial trial rejected that possibility.

Quote:
And trust me,... I find him just as guilty. But unfortunatly, he isn't on trial, so I can't comment on him. Also, she didn't have the ability to say "No, I don't any more kids" It was entirely his fault??

I'm not saying he is innocent, far from it, but c'mon, people have to take responsibility for THEIR OWN ACTIONS. Everything else aside, I'm sick of people blaming what they did on someone, or something else.
There's a big difference between someone saying "I turned to a life of crime because my parents abused me" and someone being PSYCHOTIC.

Quote:
If I, as a male, raped and drowned, or even just drowned 5 kids, and then claimed god (or the devil) told me to do it, and that I didn't know right from wrong, so I should be spared punishment, my guess is you would have a totally differant opinion on me.
And you'd be wrong. If you "claimed" god or the devil told you to do it, and psychiatric evidence supported the claim that you were batshit at the time, I'd feel the same way. All the evidence agrees: she was suffering from (untreated) but already diagnosed post-partum psychosis. It's not like they cooked up this defense on a whim. She was clearly out of touch with reality. If you were psychotic or schizophrenic and shot someone because the voices in your head told you to, I'd vote for a mental institution, not prison and certainly not the death penalty.

Quote:
I'd have people vying for everything from castration, to prison for life, to death, and no one sticking up for the "mentally derranged"
You would, in fact, have people sticking up for you if you were actually "mentally deranged."

I just don't see why people are clamoring for her blood. What she did was horrific and tragic. But IMHO she deserves pity and treatment, not vengeance.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree with Lurkette, but couldn't figure out a good way to say what she said.
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Old 07-14-2006, 07:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I just don't see why people are clamoring for her blood. What she did was horrific and tragic. But IMHO she deserves pity and treatment, not vengeance.
So that one day, everyone can say "Okey Dokey, I'm all better now" and risk a repeat? Not something I'd like to see happen. Fine, treatment for now. Once she recovers from post partum psychosis, she gets locked up.

We can safely assume Ossami Bin Laden is pretty detached from reality. He's damn sure he's going to heaven for acts which we would deem insane, and cruel. I don't hear anyone objecting to clamoring for his blood.
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Old 07-15-2006, 08:10 AM   #22 (permalink)
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So that one day, everyone can say "Okey Dokey, I'm all better now" and risk a repeat? Not something I'd like to see happen. Fine, treatment for now. Once she recovers from post partum psychosis, she gets locked up.
Um...that seems kind of the opposite of logical. You want her locked up when she's psychotic, not when she's cured. I agree with you about the recurrence thing - she doesn't seem like a great candidate for managing her own mental health. And for the most part, mentally ill criminals are generally kept institutionalized until they are stable and there's a reasonable assurance that they're not going to relapse. Which, in many cases, amounts functionally to life imprisonment. But if they are shown to be sane and capable of managing their sanity, I have no problem with releasing them. We release criminals all the time once they've served their sentences, knowing there's a risk of recidivism.

Quote:
We can safely assume Ossami Bin Laden is pretty detached from reality. He's damn sure he's going to heaven for acts which we would deem insane, and cruel. I don't hear anyone objecting to clamoring for his blood.
No, he seems quite sane to me. Extreme, but sane. I don't know why we can "safely assume" that he's detached from reality. He has a pretty strong grasp of realilty, he just wants a different reality where the US gets out of the dar al-Islam. Apples and oranges, dude.
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Old 07-15-2006, 10:00 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Um...that seems kind of the opposite of logical. You want her locked up when she's psychotic, not when she's cured. I agree with you about the recurrence thing - she doesn't seem like a great candidate for managing her own mental health.
You got me backwards there. I said while she's psychotic, let her have treatment. When she's cured, start on her life sentence.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:25 AM   #24 (permalink)
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You got me backwards there. I said while she's psychotic, let her have treatment. When she's cured, start on her life sentence.
Huh? What possible purpose would there be for a life sentence if she's cured? That's just bloodthirstiness.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Huh? What possible purpose would there be for a life sentence if she's cured? That's just bloodthirstiness.

My point exactly.
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:27 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Huh? What possible purpose would there be for a life sentence if she's cured? That's just bloodthirstiness.
Because wrong is wrong. Personally I hope she gets the death penalty, which renders the whole argument moot.
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Because wrong is wrong. Personally I hope she gets the death penalty, which renders the whole argument moot.
Your argument seems a little like a person killing a family of four in a car accident after his brakes were cut and getting the death penalty for it after having his brakes repaired.

If you're not in control like a normal person should be it seems wrong to execute you for something you did in that state, especially when it's a well documented problem.
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:39 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Youre comparing a motor vehicle accident to holding your squirming kicking screaming 7 yr olds head under water?
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:45 PM   #29 (permalink)
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No, I'm comparing the idea of loss of control and stability and the given punishments for it.
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:49 PM   #30 (permalink)
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lol, whatever, I give up (though I do remember my high school english teacher telling me 'Like' was used for comparison...). I wonder if I can tell the next cop that pulls me over that I wasn't in control of myself, and therefore not elligible for a speeding ticket.

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Old 07-17-2006, 04:56 PM   #31 (permalink)
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lol, whatever, I give up (though I do remember my high school english teacher telling me 'Like' was used for comparison...). I wonder if I can tell the next cop that pulls me over that I wasn't in control of myself, and therefore not elligible for a speeding ticket.
krwlz, you seem to be obsessed beyond reason with the idea that she is simply using this argument as an excuse to get out of punishment.

You are "reading" the situation as though she was a normal, functional, sane person like you, who did something wrong, and is now trying to sneak out of punishment.

What if you were having a seizure and your car crashed into traffic and killed someone? Should you be charged with murder? Um, no.

What if you were schizophrenic and thought that someone was trying to kill you, so you hit and killed them? Should you be charged with murder? I can't think of any reasonable person who would say no.

What if you were schizophrenic and thought that up was down and down was up and you would be punished by an avenging angel who lived in your closet if you didn't kill the demon person next door?

Now what if someone CHOOSES to get drunk and crashes their car and kills someone? Okay - that person was sane, made a choice, and killed someone. Yes, they should be punished.

But you have to understand that someone in a state of psychosis IS NOT OPERATING IN REALITY!!! THEY ARE NON COMPOS MENTIS! It's not like they thought, gosh, I am going to do something evil and then lie about my mental state to get away with it. A few people do try that defense, and they generally fail when examined by a psychiatrist. Nobody in this case is disputing the fact that Andrea Yates was psychotic.

If her HUSBAND can fucking forgive her, I think maybe you could demonstrate a little compassion.
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:08 PM   #32 (permalink)
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If her HUSBAND can fucking forgive her, I think maybe you could demonstrate a little compassion.
Did he really? He divorced her and married someone else...

What about compassion for the 5 children that she murdered... What about the eldest boy that she chased around the house as he tried to get away from her because he saw what she was doing... What about compassion for that? I don't see this woman as deserving of compassion...
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:42 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by maleficent
Did he really? He divorced her and married someone else...
"[Andrea] asks her husband, Rusty Yates, how he forgives her. And he said, ‘Andrea, if I were in a car driving the five children and I had a heart attack and had a wreck and they all died, would you blame me? Would it be my fault?’ and she said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘That’s the same thing with you. You’re mentally ill. It’s a brain sickness.’”
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in594518.shtml
...

Rusty, who filed for divorce last summer, told Syler Friday that his wife needs treatment for her mental illness, not prison.

"I hope they drop the charges against her and that she can go to a hospital and stay there long enough to, you know, till the doctors can find the right combinations of medicines to make her, you know, well and safe," he told Syler. "And that she can receive counseling. Obviously, she's in a worse place now than she was, really, at the time of the tragedy, because she has so much trauma behind her, and it's going to take a long time to work through that. I think on the order of, you know, best case, two or three years."

"In many respects, I see Andrea as a victim in all of this, not as, you know, a perpetrator, although she did commit this horrible act. She never would have done so, had she not been ill."

Still, Rusty filed for divorce in July "primarily, you know, because of how much she's hurt me," he said to Syler. "I mean, we're apart, that's a factor, but, really, I think even though I can forgive her, you know, there are consequences, really, for our marriage, for what she's done and, you know, I really can't get past the pain, you know, that she's caused me there."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/...in665425.shtml


Quote:
What about compassion for the 5 children that she murdered... What about the eldest boy that she chased around the house as he tried to get away from her because he saw what she was doing... What about compassion for that?
I don't believe that the two - compassion for her and for the children - are mutually exclusive. Compassion for the children and horror at the tragedy do not logically lead to a need to seek revenge. And that's what punishing her would be - revenge. Not justice.
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:56 PM   #34 (permalink)
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You can argue that all murderers are insane for some reason or another. I don't think any serial killer ever known was 'sane'.

People kill their children all the time through neglect, abuse, and good old murder. Do we let them off because it is insane to allow your child to suffer or die?

A monster is a monster reguardless of motive. The problem with the insanity defense is it requires the impossible to really prove it, you can not know what was going on in her mind. We can only judge on the actions, and the actions can not be forgiven. This monster had her blood for whatever motive she had and its time to pay.
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:50 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by maleficent
Did he really? He divorced her and married someone else...

What about compassion for the 5 children that she murdered... What about the eldest boy that she chased around the house as he tried to get away from her because he saw what she was doing... What about compassion for that? I don't see this woman as deserving of compassion...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
You can argue that all murderers are insane for some reason or another. I don't think any serial killer ever known was 'sane'.

People kill their children all the time through neglect, abuse, and good old murder. Do we let them off because it is insane to allow your child to suffer or die?

A monster is a monster reguardless of motive. The problem with the insanity defense is it requires the impossible to really prove it, you can not know what was going on in her mind. We can only judge on the actions, and the actions can not be forgiven. This monster had her blood for whatever motive she had and its time to pay.
Thank you both, i was begining to think I was the only one here seeing a killer as.... well, a killer. As ustwo pointed out, seriel killers are... Psychopaths.

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Old 07-17-2006, 08:09 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
A monster is a monster reguardless of motive. The problem with the insanity defense is it requires the impossible to really prove it, you can not know what was going on in her mind.

But the beauty of the insanity defense is that you don't get out of the nuthouse until you prove you're sane. And that, too, is next to impossible.

So, the question becomes would you rather a murderer get life in prison (which works out to around 10 years + parole) or get sent to the assylum until he proves he's sane (which can and, in cases like this often does, result in them never leaving)?
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:34 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Thought this would be here already; I guess it is up to the librarian, again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kvue.com
For Yates, 'Five years makes a big difference'

This time, jury finds mother was insane when she drowned her 5 kids

09:52 AM CDT on Thursday, July 27, 2006

By ANGELA K. BROWN / Associated Press

HOUSTON – Andrea Yates' unexpected second chance came in a quiet courtroom, after time had softened community outrage against the woman who held her five young children under water in the bathtub until they could no longer breathe.

After jurors filed into the room Wednesday, some smiling softly, the judge read the verdict: not guilty by reason of insanity.

Ms. Yates stared wide-eyed, then bowed her head and wept quietly. Her relatives present also began weeping and the children's father, Russell "Rusty" Yates, muttered, "Wow."

Four years earlier, another jury rejected defense contentions that she was so psychotic she thought she was saving her children's souls when she killed them in 2001 – a guilty verdict that triggered pained sobs from her relatives and confusion from Ms. Yates.

"Five years makes a big difference," defense attorney Wendell Odom said. "Five years ago, there were a lot of people who could not get past the anger of what happened."

The 42-year-old former nurse, who was charged in three of the five deaths, will be committed to a state mental hospital until she is no longer deemed a threat. If convicted of murder, she would have been sentenced to life in prison.

"This means a woman who we perceive to be also a victim in all this, just like our children are, is going to get a better quality of life for herself for the balance of her life," Mr. Yates said.

Prosecutors had maintained Ms. Yates failed to meet the state's definition of insanity: that a severe mental illness prevents someone who is committing a crime from knowing that it is wrong.

"I'm very disappointed," prosecutor Kaylynn Williford said. "For five years, we've tried to seek justice for these children."

Ms. Yates' 2002 murder convictions triggered debate over whether Texas' legal standard for mental illness was too rigid and whether the courts treated postpartum depression seriously enough. An appeals court overturned the convictions last year because of erroneous testimony from a prosecution witness.

Ms. Yates' attorneys never disputed that she drowned 6-month-old Mary, 2-year-old Luke, 3-year-old Paul, 5-year-old John and 7-year-old Noah in their Houston-area home in June 2001. But they said she suffered from severe postpartum psychosis and, in a delusional state, believed Satan was inside her and was trying to save the children from hell.

The jury, split evenly men to women, had deliberated nearly 13 hours over three days. By law, jurors were not allowed to be told what would happen to Ms. Yates if they found her not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jury foreman Todd Frank, 33, a marketing manager, said that the group had "some emotional difficulty" with its decision and that it would have been easier for some if a "guilty but insane" verdict had been an option.

About a half-hour before reaching a verdict, jurors asked to see a family photo and pictures of the smiling youngsters. Mr. Frank said the jury wanted to "take a moment to remember the children."

The jury was unaware that Ms. Yates would be committed to a mental institution for treatment until state District Judge Belinda Hill told them after the verdict. By law, they could not be told. Mr. Frank said that knowledge beforehand might have made the decision easier for some.

He said he couldn't speak for all the jurors, but it was clear to him that Ms. Yates had psychosis before, during and after the drownings.

"She needs help," he said. "Although she's treated, I think she's worse than she was before."

During a videotaped 2001 jail interview, Ms. Yates told a psychiatrist that her children had not been progressing normally because she was a bad mother, and that she killed them because "in their innocence, they would go to heaven."

Prosecution witness Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist, testified that Ms. Yates killed the youngsters because she felt overwhelmed and inadequate as a mother, not to save their souls. He said that it was not until a day after the killings that she talked about Satan and saving her children from hell.

Dr. Welner also said Ms. Yates showed that she knew her actions were wrong by waiting until her husband left for work to kill them, covering the bodies with a sheet and calling 911 soon after the crime.

Jurors disagreed.

"It's this simple: This lady never did anything, anything wrong in her whole life," said defense attorney Odom. "She's mentally ill. She wakes up one morning. She drowns her five kids. Come on – we all know she's insane, and it's a shame that it took us this long to finally get the right verdict."

Russell "Rusty" Yates shed tears Wednesday after the verdict was announced in his ex-wife's retrial.

Outside the courtroom, he told reporters he was glad jurors had "looked past what happened and looked at why it happened."

"Yes, she was psychotic," Mr. Yates said. "That's the whole truth."

Mr. Yates, who divorced Ms. Yates last year and remarried in March, said he shared his ex-wife's relief.

"She's ... the type of person who doesn't want to get her hopes up too high so as not to be disappointed," Mr. Yates said. "There will probably be a little bit of that for all of us, letting the verdict sink in."

"To me, this is really about Andrea's quality of life for the balance of her life. Is she going to spend her time in a prison cell with barely adequate medical treatment and no interaction with other people ... or is she going to spend some time in a hospital and get good medical treatment and have some hope of a, possibly, somewhat normal life later?"
As I argued before, I believe this was the appropriate verdict, as well as the foreman's wish for "guilty but insane".
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:31 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Find the right 12 people and you can get away with anything.

Ask OJ.

Bets on how long before shes back out and 'sane'?
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Old 07-27-2006, 02:36 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I wont take those bets...

And I intended to post that already, but I've been a little busy lately.

Funny how "Innocent by reasons of insanity" is synonomous with "Guilty as sin, but fuckin' nuts"
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