Thursday, January 06, 2005

Andrea Yates' Conviction Overturned

This one hits close to home, because the Yates' lived just a few miles from my home. In case you've been living under a rock, Andrea Yates was convicted in 2001 for drowning all 5 of her children in the bathtub in their home.

Today, a judge has overturned that conviction based on a ruling that a proscution witness gave false testimony at the trial.

When this story first happened, I had trouble sleeping for weeks. Images of the oldest, 7 year old son, seeing his siblings and trying to run for his life would haunt me. This woman is deeply disturbed, and whether or not she is insane (seems like a no brainer!) or what, she has no business out of confinement of some kind.

Having said that, I think another tragedy of this story is that the father was not also held accountable. Mrs. Yates had a history of severe mental illness. She had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression, which had gotten more severe with each childbirth. Yet her husband insisted that they homeschool their children and not use birth control because that's "what they agreed to when they married". Even though he was an engineer at NASA, he had his family of 7 living in an RV until after Andrea's second unsuccesful suicide attempt, when he finally bought them a house to live in. And the clincher....he had taken Andrea to her doctor and had her taken off of her drugs just a few days before she took her children's life. Why is this man able to walk around free??

I was talking with a good friend of mine today while our kids were at gymnastics and she had an interesting point. She said she actually thought the death penalty would be the most humane thing for Andrea because if she is ever treated in a mental facility and has a lucid moment to remember and realize what she's would she ever cope with it? It's a lose lose situation not matter what.

You can read some people's reactions here. What's yours?

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