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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
NH Dave BS: Andrea Yates Verdict (51* d) RE: BS: Andrea Yates Verdict 26 Jul 06

There are several situations working here, and perhaps few working for her.

The US has fifty incorporated states and other states of confusion, each of which has its own laws governing among other things murder, and insanity. Going hand in hand with this, since we are a country that filled up with immigrants from the word go, each area of the country is slightly or quite a bit different from an adjoining or not so closely associated other state. Along with these physical and social differences we also have vast religious differences between, say, NH where I was raised, and south east Texas where this whole sorry tragedy occurred.

The south eastern part of the US tends to sway towards pentecostal and evangelical religions where worshiping with poisonous snakes isn't considered a bit odd, while the north east tends to be a lot more conservative, and look down on that sort of behavior. Some of the more conservative up here note in passing that they don't have any really cold weather to cull out the real wackos. Some of us also say uncharitable things about California too, but that isn't germane to the issue here.

Many of these folks sincerely believe that God made Abraham go out with the intent of sacrificing Isaac, his son, whose life was only spared when Abraham found a sheep with which to do the honors. Belief like this makes any attempt to judge these people by the standards of Boston or New York City laughable. There simply isn't any comparison. Mrs. Yates could know that it was wrong to kill her children under normal circumstances, and apparently did, judging from some of her words after the fact, but still believe that God told her that the children had to die, so she had to do it.

Add in post partum depression, about which I admittedly know little, and she was a fireworks stand with a lit match in one hand. Why she wasn't institutionalized earlier is probably a result of the vast differences in psychiatric intervention for people unable to live by society's rules, from state to state.

I think the problem was resolved in the only manner it could have been done, in fairness to her and her mental condition. Anyone who believes that he or she must kill their children is more than a few bricks short of a full hod. Some states allow people judged innocent by reason of insanity to be committed to a psychiatric institution until such time as they are no longer a danger to themselves and society, others just commit them and throw away the key. From the articles I have read about her future, she is currently locked away out of harm at a mental institution, and can either be allowed to remain there, remain there until she achieves some form of a sound mind, or possibly retried, using new evidence that was not presented at the first trail. As she regains a sound mental outlook the death of her children will weigh more heavily on her, so there is no way she will escape from this horror scott free. She just won't be put to death, or possibly confined for the rest of her life.

I don't see how she could possibly gain enough control of herself that she could be released into society again, but I don't know what avenues of therapy and other psychiatric care are available to her. She sounds schizoid to me, with my few years of studies in psychology and psychiatry, and that is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to treat successfully, or was, if some wonder combination of drugs and therapy has come along that works with these people.

There probably was no right solution to this case, but what we have here seems about the best of a lot of bad choices.


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