The Sad Case of Andrea Yates

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The Sad Case of Andrea Yates

Pamela Elliott

Abnormal Psychology

Instructor: Doctor Erica King

October 13, 2011

The case of Andrea Yates is unmistakenly horrifying. For most of society trying to comprehend how a mother could drown five, count them five of her own children is impossible. Our society does not care about mental illness when they find out through court testimony that the mother chased around the house her last and oldest child in order to get him into the same bathtub she had just drowned his four other siblings in. According to court testimony he came up for air several times trying to tell her he was sorry for whatever he did. The other children died with clumps of her hair in their hands in an effort to save their lives. I agree it is horrifying, but the verdict on appeal in 2004 (the murders were committed in 2001) that turned her life sentence around to not guilty by reason of insanity is one of the first cases I have heard of in Texas that any defense attorney managed to finagle out of a jury and I think it is humane and fair. It has been a long time coming in the history of the Texas court system and the reasoning of the majority vote in America to embrace the death penalty and/or life imprisonment. Andrea Yates suffered from a severe case of post-partum depression and the actions of her husband in the face of it all is highly questionable. One wonders how sane he is, or how uneducated. Regardless of her strange behavior and the fact that her husband was told that she was suffering from post-partum depression after the birth of the their first child he continued to impregnate her four more times. This should be a crime within itself.

Andrea Yates suffered with mental illness before she ever had children. She thought the only way to save her children from the hell they were ready to suffer was to kill them. Not only have I read this through the accounts in the references named but I have first hand experience with a sister who...
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