Thursday, July 27, 2006

Guilty By Reason of Insanity

Jurors in Andrea Yates’ murder retrial returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Earlier Wednesday jurors asked to see a family photo and candid pictures of her five smiling youngsters taken before she drowned them in the family bathtub.

Soon after arriving at the courthouse, the jury of six men and six women also reviewed the state’s definition of insanity: that someone, because of a severe mental illness, does not know a crime he is committing is wrong.

Why is the verdict "not guilty by reason of insanity"? Shouldn't it be "guilty by reason of insanity"? We should be able to find someone guilty and still confine them to a mental facility for the rest of their life. The fact that Andrea Yates could conceivably be set free someday is unacceptable to me. Perhaps if she drowned one child, I could be persuaded to buy the temporary insanity defense. But Andrea Yates took her time and methodically drowned all FIVE of her children.

This current prosecution only charged Anndrea Yates with the murders of three of her children. Since there is no statute of limitations on murder, we can only hope that the prosecution is saving the remaining two murder, charges in case Ms. Yates is ever releaased.

1 comment:

  1. hey, thanks for the quote on Huff Post, but I think I disagree with you here. I find it absurd that anyone could think there is a debate about whether Dahmer or this gal were obviously crazy. The question of whether they are curable is slightly different. Post partum depression is pretty well documented I think. But, lock them up forever because they got sick at one time, and as a result did a horrible thing that will haunt them all their days, i don't think so.

    Again, I appreciate your quote, and I'l be looking for the train going in the tunnel. Oh yeah.