Pleading Insanity

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Critical Thinking Chapter Six
Pleading Insanity
Leslie A. Burtz
CRIM 105
Richard Reed
Ivy Tech Community College

A parent is one who gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or a mother (Dictionary, p. 992). Every child born into this world depends on their parents to protect and keep them from harm. Children need to be cared for and nourished by those who love them. Parents are to provide guidance and raise that child to the best of their knowledge until that child is old enough to venture out on their own and be an adult. Parents have a duty to that child. When does it become necessary to protect a child from their own parents and why would a parent want to cause harm to their child. There are many cases of parents killing their own children; one case in particular is that of Andrea Yates, who drowned all five of her children in a bath tub. Many parents end up pleading insanity after murdering their kids. One would think a parent would have enough self control over their own actions and thoughts to not cause harm to their offspring. Many of these parents committing these horrific crimes have been dealing with a mental condition or illness. The big question is why would a parent want to cause harm to their own child? In 2006, Andrea Yates of Houston Texas was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the drowning of her five children. She suffered from severe postpartum psychosis and, in a delusional state; believed Satan was inside her and was trying to save them from hell (McNamara M., 2006a, p, 1). In 2001 Yates filled the tub with water and began with the drowning of her three youngest sons, then her only daughter, and last her first born son who was seven years old (Montaldo, 2010, p. 1). The evidence in this case seemed to show both that Yates knew what she was doing was criminal and she thought she was actually saving her children from punishment from beyond. In other words, some evidence...
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