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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 8:07 pm:   

Today she was found innocent by reason of insanity. I think she was insane for sure. the prosecutor and others just wanted to see her in jail for life. She will be in a mental institution and she will get treated with the proper means. I don't think she should ever get out, but she needed to be instututionalized. I think the right thing was done here.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 8:13 pm:   

Andrea Yates is the Lindy Chamberlain of the US.
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 11:03 pm:   

Ed, I agree totally with you. When she was convicted of first degree murder I thought it was the travesty of the year. She is one killer who to me was obviously out of touch with reality at the time of the crime and could not form intent. My asessment is based on my 19 years of experience working in the field of mental health. Lifetime treatment in a mental hospital is the right way to deal with this tragic case. She needs treatment AND to be isolated from children lest any further tragedy.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 1:01 am:   

Mike, you misunderstand me. I do not for one second believe Yates was temporarily insane; the murders were without question premeditated. The second time around, she's let off the hook because she was "insane." Lindy Chamberlain in Australia was very similar: she murdered her baby daughter Azaria at Ayer's Rock, was tried and found guilty of the crime, but in her case, she was released from jail because of popular opinion ("Oh, she loved her daughter! A mother could never kill her own child! A dingo took her, just like she said!" They hadn't heard of Susan Smith, among many other female murderers).

That's what I meant. As far as I'm concerned, the only treatment a scumbag like Yates needs is to do hard time for the crime of murdering her own children.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 1:14 am:   

I think there's no question that she knew what she was doing and that it was both morally wrong and against the law. Crimes of this egregiousness and enormity tend to make reasonable people think that only someone totally out-of-touch with reality could have committed them; hence the person is deemed insane simply by virtue of performing the act. Makes for a great defense in a society that seems to be having a difficult time deciding what it really believes.
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Nick
Username: Nick

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 2:37 am:   

By definition, she was and is obviously insane. But so are the mass murderers and serial killers that plague our nation. If Yates warrants treatment and a potential release back into society, then so do the likes of David Berkowitz, Theodore Kaczyinski and Tommy Lynn Sells. Society as a whole simply cannot tolerate or excuse wanton acts of brutality, mayhem and murder. I liken to the mad dog who gets loose and kills a child. It's not his fault he's mad, but he still must be put down.
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Linda
Username: Linda

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 3:33 am:   

I believe the more appropriate verdict would have been "guilty by reason of insanity." She was clearly guilty and absolutely not sane. She positively suffered from mental illness long before she reached the point of taking the lives of these babies. Her husband knew it and so did the family. The mother-in-law even worried about her instability around the children. She was on medication, in and out of hospitals, had tried to take her own life. Her husband wanted her to home school the children and have more children. He was controlling and wanted her to be a home-schooling mom - with ever child and every greater depression she experienced, he wanted another child. He, family members and medical personnel knew of her fragility, yet not one person worried about the children. They felt she'd be okay - took her off her medication and obviously had no other thought that it may have an effect on those little ones who were in her direct and daily charge and care. Would anyone leave their children in a day care when the one in charge was known to have mental problems and was taken off medication? Sounds stupid to even consider that someone with mental problems would be in charge of children - yet I guess no one considers or considered this same scenario when the one who has mental problems is the mother of several in her care.

There's absolutely NO question that this woman is guilty of a heinous crime and insane(and the prosecution even agrees she was insane); but I argue that these children were failed ALSO by others who knew that the woman in almost full charge of their care was clearly unstable, unhealthy and unfit to care for them. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

Yes, Andrea is clearly guilty of that heinous crime and maybe she says she KNEW it was wrong - but isn't that the problem with someone who is INSANE... They can't be trusted, you don't know what their reactions will be from minute to minute...they may seem fine, coherent and sane for a while, but at any time become delusional and irratic...

This woman should have been placed in a mental institution LONG BEFORE any chance of this type of crime being committed...
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Etphoto
Username: Etphoto

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 6:33 am:   

The thing that bothers me about the whole thing is the first case was thrown out. The defense is always trying to get verdicts thrown out and when they finally get a verdict in their favor (as in this case) the common slant from the media is "the right verdict has finally been made." I couldn't care less if she is sane, insane or what ever. I only care that she took the lives of five other people. Take my word for it, she will be released back into society someday. Hopefully, long after is is able to have any more children.

15 years ago (I'm guessing on the time cause I don't want to take the time to look it up) we had a murder happen in our area. The murder was an "insane" man who cut the head off his exwife. He was found insane and put into a hospital. Today, he is out.

I agree with Nick's post. It isn't Andrea's fault she is a nut case nor is it society's fault (although some would like to blame society) either. Certianly, it isn't the children's fault. One person and one person only should pay.


ET
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Bryanthegiant
Username: Bryanthegiant

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 7:03 am:   

Ed,
Don't surgar coat it, Tell us how you really feel

That's what I meant. As far as I'm concerned, the only treatment a scumbag like Yates needs is to do hard time for the crime of murdering her own children.}
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 8:13 am:   

Why they didn't charge Russell with anything is beyond me...
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 11:38 am:   

I just want to make clear that I know the children are the victims, I am in no way trying to make her out to be a victim. Mental illness isn't to be taken lightly. I wish she would spend the rest of her life locked in the instution. She will never be ok, unless heavily medicated and that could even be debatable. She needs correct mental treatment, but can't be trusted while free.
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Etphoto
Username: Etphoto

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 12:37 pm:   

Warren,

What criminal charge would they levy against Russell? Illegally letting the mother of his children watch them? No one can convince me that the same people that are claiming she is insane today wouldn't be the same people crying that this mean man is trying to take her children away if he tried something before the killings.

ET
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   

From my understanding of the case the worst thing they could say about him is that he was mentally/emotionally abusive and contributed to her to her mental illness. Unfortunately I dont think thats something that could result in a criminal charge against him.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 3:09 pm:   

I believe he worked long hours everyday. So just her and her kids at home everyday. She must of felt some isolation and fell into her own world. He was the moneymaker, but he still should of spoke up, he evidently took her mental illness lightly. Very Unfortunate!
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 4:12 pm:   

Being mentally ill doesn't signify that one can't distinguish between right and wrong.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 6:24 pm:   

But a crime is still a crime. Only in America can someone brutally murder one's own children in premeditated cold blood and the popular media and many citizens feel sorry for the killer rather than care for her innocent victims. I am truly amazed at how many people don't give a damn about a crime, no matter how heinous, if the criminal is "insane," and how they fall all over each other to "treat" the criminal instead of punish her for her crimes.

It's funny, but "ignorance of the law" is never an excuse if you unknowingly break the law. Why should "insanity" therefore be an excuse? I see absolutely no difference between someone who unknowingly breaks the law and someone who allegedly cannot tell right from wrong. It's the same difference. And it's unfortunate that innocent lives must be brutally snuffed out before anyone even cares to do anything about a murderer like Yates. In the good old days, someone with mental problems was locked up in an insane asylum and heavily medicated so that they could not harm themselves or others.

It's a sad commentary on society that innocent children must die (and their killers be allowed to live!) before justice is served (although it wasn't in this case). It's like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. It's too little, too late, and everyone is more concerned with "personal freedom" rather than nipping potential killers in the bud and dealing with them before they kill. Had Yates been committed long ago, her children would still be alive today.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 6:36 pm:   

I do believe her mental problems were well documented prior to the murder. All the signs seemed to point towards that she needed serious help, she was on anti-pshycotic medication prior to the murders. Ed you got me thinking a bit. The children need to be the main picture in this case! All I say again and again is mental illness is very serious! She knew right from wrong, I won't argue that at all. She needs the mental help and that's as far as I'll go here. Again, The children are indeed the victims and that shall not be over looked!
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 7:33 pm:   

The difference in the Yates case and many other cases where a defendant pleads insanity is, as James 78 says, Andrea Yates had been diagnosed and treated for SERIOUS mental problems for years before the crime took place. Family and friends testified to numerous problems she had coping at least for months off and on.
Nick, I must disagree, most serial killers like Berkowitz, Bundy, Dahmer, do NOT show evidence of a mental illness (such as depressive disorder with psychotic features or schizophrenia) other than a personality disorder diagnosis (anti-social personality)and that only loosely fits. They do NOT show evidence of loss of contact with reality, as Yates did.
Linda, your idea of a verdict of guilty but insane is a good one. One of my bosses advocated for exactly such a change in the law to include such a verdict when he became chief psychologist for the Texas Corrections Department back in the 80's. It is an idea many psychologists would welcome, rather than the dichotomy between guilty and not guilty by insanity. Unfortunately, few state legislatures have acted to implement such legislation, so the Texas law is still stuck as are most states.
Ed, I'm gonna surprise you with the next comment: I agree that Yates should have been hospitalized BEFORE she harmed the children. There are too many people out of mental hospitals who need to be hospitalized. It is way too hard to keep somebody hospitalized for a long time these days. I know this from my 6 years of working at a state mental hospital and 13 years at outpatient mental health clinics. There are people, a small percentage but real, whose mental problems are never really controlled enough to eliminate their being a danger to themselves or others, and need long term if not permanent hospitalization. This is another mistake our lawmakers have made.
Douglas, some individuals with mental illness can easily distingush right from wrong and their guilt or innocence of a crime does not depend on their illness. People with a mental illness are convicted and sentenced all the time and that can
be quite appropriate if the nature of the mental illness and the nature of the crime are not related. I can detail just such a case from my memory if anyone wishes. But a mentally ill person may NOT know right from wrong if their illness heavily contributes to the reason they committed a crime. In the Yates case, the illness very clearly contributed in a dominant if not total way in the crime. Yates probably is guilty of another crime, such as involuntary manslaughter, but not first degree murder. The test question for this is simple: If she did not have the mental illness would she have killed her kids? Almost certainly not.
This is a good correction, and by permanently comitting her to mental hospitalization society is protected and justice served.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 1:15 am:   

I'm with Ed on this one. I think the common conception of someone committing a crime under the strain of mental illness springs from a mistaken belief that that the perpetrator is being driven by a force beyond his control and that he is neither aware of committing the crime nor able to discern that his actions are either morally or legally wrong--in essence, that his body has been "possessed" by a second entity. The law doesn't go quite that far, but offers as a standard the notion that to be excused from a crime on the basis of insanity one has to be so affected as to not understand the nature or quality of one's actions, nor be able to discern that they are legally wrong. That's really not meant to be an easy standard to meet, and it doesn't excuse a person simply because he's mentally ill--his mental illness must be of a nature so extreme as to render him almost incapable of rational thought. But in these broadminded times the average juror is apt to take the popular definition to heart and excuse an individual who doesn't meet the purely legal criteria.

To fall under the latter heading I would expect to see an individual completely or nearly completely incapacitated by mental illness both before and after the criminal event, with a series of episodes leading up to the event and a progressively deteriorating condition following it. Some might say that Andrea Yates fits the description, but I'm not buying it. She was depressed and neurotic beforehand, and appeared to be growing increasingly psychotic afterward, but why only afterward? I think it's because she was bright enough to understand that an insanity defense wouldn't work unless she could manifest some signs of true insanity (other than the act of killing her children, that is). She killed her children because they were burdensome to her and she wanted to be rid of them, excusing herself by the rationalization (the same one used by John List) that they'd be better off with God. Mentally ill she might have been, in one of the milder senses of the term, but the facts in the case all go to show that she knew what she was doing when she did it, and knew that it was wrong.
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Etphoto
Username: Etphoto

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 6:19 am:   

To throw another wrench into the discussion. If Andrea was a male, how many people would stand bebind him? Would this even be a national story? My answer: Nope.

ET
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Linda
Username: Linda

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 6:56 am:   

If this had happened to a male whose wife had strong religious beliefs that she be the dominant breadwinner, take care of all her personal needs (cooking, cleaning, sex), continually have child after child, insisting her husband be a home-dad, care for the home and children, home school them, go off his medication so he could be more coherent while she went to work...yes, I would stand behind him.
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Etphoto
Username: Etphoto

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 9:02 am:   

Linda,

It is my point you wouldn't stand behind him because you would have never heard about the case. The media wouldn't have covered it the way it was covered. And, nothing personal, but I wouldn't think you would stand behind him. You, and others, would take the stand (I would at least) he is a male, he should be able to handle it.

ET
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 9:50 am:   

My response would have been the same no matter who was involved. There's no proof that she didn't understand what she was doing--quite the contrary. And there's no proof she didn't know it was wrong--once again, the facts speak to the contrary.

Of all the cases of insanity defense I'm aware of, the only one I think I would have found not guilty by reason of insanity was the so-called Vampire of Sacramento, Richard Chase. In that case there was no ambiguity concerning his mental state before and after the killings.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 11:27 am:   

Etphoto, It would have been a national story. I don't make different judgements whether male or female.
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Linda
Username: Linda

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 1:19 pm:   

The correct charge should be "guilty by reason of insanity." The "not guilty" by reason of insanity is totally incorrect to me.

ET - I do think that a case like this (involving a man) would reach media attention...drowning 5 children and known to be mentally ill - what would we have said of the mother who knew that her husband was psychotic and didn't get away with the children she supposedly loved.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 1:39 pm:   

As usual, I'm with Okie Mike on this one...
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Chari
Username: Chari

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 1:42 pm:   

If they knew she was that bad, why in the world her husband left her alone with the kids? He should had got her commited to mental hospital and get her the help.
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James78
Username: James78

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 2:14 pm:   

she had been in an instututiion shortly before the crime. Her husband was to rapped up in his job.
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Oklahoma_mike
Username: Oklahoma_mike

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 8:55 pm:   

Linda, to reiterate from my most recent post, the idea of a verdict 'guilty but insane' is a good idea. It is just that most states do not have such a notion written into the law. Many in the mental health field have advocated such a change and I know personally 2 psychologists who worked for the Texas corrections dept. who advocated such. No such law exists due to the failure of the governor or legislature to do anything about it.
Chari, it seems from testimony of friends and neighbors that many DID think Yates was that bad and needed hospitalization. It is almost impossible for anyone other than a family member to have someone committed and not easy for a family member! It may be that she had used up her insurance for the current year and thus hospitals would have REFUSED TO ADMIT HER! Yes, such things happen all the time! As one joke goes: "If you don't have any money, you don't have any problems!"
In a curious situation the reason it is hard to commit people to mental hospitals is due to two political groups. Liberals and conservatives. Yes, while working for different goals this is one of the rare situations where opposite sides have led to the same thing. The liberal viewpoint that people, even if crazy and dangerous, should not be forced to give up any liberty or rights led to all kinds of restrictions against treatment of mentall ill patients. As a card carrying liberal myself, this is one case where such ideas were pressed too far. Then the conservatives came along with the idea of smaller government (which has some merit) including the idea that states should not be the source of caring for the mentally ill and in cost cutting measures closed many state mental hospitals across the country. Thus adequate care for the people who are seriously mentally ill and require very long time (even permanent) hospitalization has been decimated from both directions. This is one reason I went back to school in middle age and changed professions after being a psychologist for 19 years!
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Etphoto
Username: Etphoto

Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 5:10 am:   

I guess is boils down to, yeah, everyone thinks she is a nut job. But the divison comes, one side thinks she should be in a hospital and the other (like me) thinks she should be locked up.

ET

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