Thursday, July 27, 2006

Good News, Bad News for Andrea Yates

It seems that Texas can find a reasonable jury that is not just out for blood.

The good news for Andrea Yates is that she was found not guilty by reason of insanity this week in the drowning of her five children in 2001.

The bad news for Andrea Yates is that she was found not guilty by reason of insanity and "will be committed to a state mental facility in Texas until she is deemed to be no longer a threat."

The main question is: Will she get the care and treatment she needs, or will she be locked away and forgotten?


Kubla Khan said...

In 1964, an Arkansas high school student named Gary Williams was found "not guilty by reason of insanity" for the rape of one of his teachers. He was committed to the Arkansas state mental hospital. His defense lawyer then demanded a hearing on the issue of his sanity. The lawyer called the psychiatrist who testified for the state at the criminal trail and got the psychiatrist to admit that, in his opinion, Gary Williams was not insane. Gary Williams was released from the hospital within six months after his acquital.

He became a career rapist and went to prision for multiple rapes, but was released early due to prison overcrowding.

While on parole, he committed a number of other kidnappings and rapes, culminating in the kidnapping (in broad daylight from a city street) of my wife, and her rape and murder.

While in prision on that charge, he was killed by another inmate, whom he had raped.

Was this guy insane? Well, insanity is seldon a bright line issue. Most of us are a little nuts. But he was anti-social and mentally ill to the point where he should have been kept in a mental hospital for life, or at least for many years.

As his story shows, hospitalizing or imprisoning a person is mentally ill is not always a simple solution because such persons are a danger to other patients, inmates and staff, even if they are locked up.

The system failed. It usually does in these cases.

Texas and most Southern States continue to be "protective" of women because the attitute is that they don't have the intelligence to know right from wrong, to control their emotions, or to act responsibly. For the vast majority of women, this cultural attitude keeps them from have a decent life or from being treated equally with a man.

But in a few instances, the cultural attitude allows a woman to run over her husband with a Mercedes or to murder her five children or to get her nine year old son to shoot her ex-husband in the back with her gun when he picks up the child for visitiation, and to escape the consequences that a responsible adult would face for such acts. But the way, all three crimes occurred within a five mile radius in the Clear Lake (NASA - Johnson Space Center) area of Houston.

Kubla Khan

frito bandito said...

Perhaps someone needs to investigate what is in the air or water around Clear Lake. Maybe some star dust escaped from the Space Center that causes certain women to act out in unusual ways.

However, in the Yates case, she was clearly mentally ill. Perhaps triggered by an overbearing husband who kept her as a baby factory so that she had no other identity.

My guess is that they'll either keep her locked up for the rest of her life, or someone will let her out after she can no longer bear children.