Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Yates Not Guilty in Kids' Deaths
I've just read this news article and then watched the results of Andrea Yates' trial on T.V. tonight. Hearing over and over again of how Andrea Yates drowned her five children, saving her 7 year old for last (he struggled the most) has left me feeling quite sick to my stomach. She's been found not guilty by reason of insanity and I'm conflicted on how I feel about that.
On one hand, I have to believe that she was mentally ill to have executed such a horrific act, not just once, but five separate drowning situations.
On the other hand, I can't help but feel outraged about the agony that those poor little angels had to suffer at the hands of their own mother and I'm not sure that her spending time in a mental hospital, until she's deemed to be not harmful to herself and others, is a punishment that fits the crime.
Was this a case of postpartum depression that was inadequately treated? Even if so, the testimony makes it appear that she was at least sane enough to know killing her children was wrong. Doesn't that negate a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity?
And there's her ex-husband, Rusty Yates. I can't help but feel as though he had a part in this, even though no charges were brought against him. He may not have drowned his children, but how could a husband not be aware of his wife's mental struggles, especially if they were as pronounced as the defense claimed? Did he ignore the warning signs?
And what about her doctor who saw her a couple of days before she killed her children who simply set her how telling her, "have a happy day" and not viewing her as psychotic.
In the end, I know that it's not for me to judge, that both Andrea and Rusty have only to answer to God. I also know that they'll both have to live with this tragedy for the rest of their lives and there's no escaping it. I'm just disheartened by the sickness in our society.
How do you feel about Andrea Yate's not guilty sentence? I'd be really interested to hear your viewpoint.