July 26, 2006

Baby Killer Andrea Yates Gets Off on Insanity Defense

by @ 2:23 pm. Filed under Nuts on Parade

Once upon a time in America, a woman who killed 5 babies/children would have been burned at a stake, hung from a tree or shot at a given number of paces. Today, someone can claim “insanity” and kill as many people as they wish. So what if they kill their own innocent babies. Of course if they can do it before the baby is outside of the womb, they might not even have to claim insanity, because then it’s considered a “legal abortion”.

So like the rest of the nation, I have been watching the Andrea Yates trial over the years. After she drowned her 5 children in a bathtub, while her husband was at work. At first I was sure she’d get the death penalty. Then after that was not an option, I was sure she’d get life in prison. Now it seems she’ll just stay in a mental ward, until some Liberal psychologist says she’s fit to go home. I’m not saying field of psychology is some sort of bogus Liberal science, but I’m saying that it is being abused by Liberals to allow killers and other criminals off easy. I say we use the standard of “all men created equal” and give any criminal a sentence fitting their crime, not their supposed mental state!


A Harris County jury has found Andrea Yates not guilty by reason of insanity during her second capital murder trial for the drowning deaths of her children in the family’s bathtub in 2001.

The jury’s verdict means Yates, 42, will be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment, rather than be sentenced to life in prison.

Over the past two days, the jury appeared to focus on medical expert testimony from both prosecution and defense witnesses.

The trial is the second time Yates has faced a jury. She was convicted in 2002 of the crime and sentenced to life in prison, but an appeals court last year threw out that conviction based on a forensic psychiatrist’s erroneous testimony.

Yates, a former nurse and housewife with a history of psychiatric hospitalizations and suicide attempts, called police and led them to the bodies of her five children ? Noah, 7, John, 5, Paul, 3, Luke, 2, and 6-month-old Mary ? after drowning them in a bathtub at her Clear Lake home on June 20, 2001.

A death sentence could not be considered during her retrial since the first jury rejected that option four years ago.

Today’s trials focus too much on “why” someone committed murder than the actual fact they committed murder. Outside of self defense or defense of other lives, no other excuses should be allowed into court when someone uses their own hands to murder people. Psychologists should not be allowed in, unless they are speaking about the impact on victims, not the mental state of the accused.

Do I believe postpartum depression is real? Yes I do and I think Andrea Yates probably had it along with whatever other issues are going on in her head. And I totally disagree with Scientology nuts like Tom Cruise, who feel it should not be treated with drugs. Just the same, I do not feel that someone should be allowed to get off easy after murdering 5 babies/children. The fact that she killed 5 babies/children should be the paramount issue, not deliberating over her mental state. I think she should have been given the death penalty swiftly after committing the crime and it would discourage others from doing such acts. I also think it would encourage anyone who felt they had a mental issue to seek treatment, before they do something that might result in them getting a death sentence.

update 7/26/2006 3:42PM:
Christine Korenthal at SoCalPundit is furious about this verdict.

update 7/26/2006 5:28PM:
Jay at Stop the ACLU feels she should have to pay some kind of consequences for her actions. Personal responsibility? Imagine that. History books might declare “personal responsibility ended in America in the 20th century”… Because it seems not to apply in the 21st.

update 7/28/2006 2:01PM:
Flashback (January 2005 ABCNews): Controversial Psychiatrist in Yates Case Speaks Out

16 Responses to “Baby Killer Andrea Yates Gets Off on Insanity Defense”

  1. TechBlog Says:

    Bloggers react to the Andrea Yates verdict

    The blogosphere’s reacting to today’s not guilty verdict in the retrial of Andrea Yates. Here is some of what’s being said — newer items will be placed at the top: From The Independent Conservative: Do I believe postpartum depression is…

  2. Independent Conservative Says:

    Did Jury in Andrea Yates Case Get Half the Story? Psychiatrist Didn’t Believe Yates’ Story.

    ABCNews is going to run an exclusive report on “Primetime” Thursday night at 10PM. They have found information that indicates the jury that just came up with a terrible verdict may have only known part of the details regarding Andrea Yate…

  3. kiacyclic Says:

    Shame on you Mr. McGavock.

    Shame on for writing such vile hateful things about a woman who was tottally irrational when she committed her crimes.

    Shame on you for wanting to return America to the dark ages, and for calling yourself a Christian.

    Where was her husband, her family, and her church when her children needed them? Ms. Yates had a history of mental illness, and was warned by her doctor not to have another child, because her postpartum depression had gotten so bad that it had caused psychotic episodes previously.

    Everyone knew that she was having problems. But they did nothing.

    Shame one you.

  4. IndependentConservative Says:

    Are you suggesting that the state should have sterilized her?

    Shame on you for sympathizing with the killer of 5 children!

  5. kiacyclic Says:

    I did not suggest that the “state” should have done anything to Ms. Yates. I didn’t mention the state at all.
    I have no idea how you got the idea that I thought that the state should have sterilized her. Please read my first comment in its entirety before you respond to it.

    I was talking about her husband, her family, and her church. They should have recognized that she was mentally ill, and done the right thing and stepped-in to take care of the children that she was obviously incapable of taking care of. She had a history of mental illness, and towards the end was obviously not well. Yet she was left alone with those kids.

    I hope and pray Mr. McGavock that you never have a family member who becomes mentally ill, because you seem incapable of understanding that often mental illness is as physical as cancer, diabetes or any other disease.

    That doesn’t excuse the actions of Ms. Yates, nor does it pardon the hideous nature of drowning ones own children. It does however recognize the reality of the situation. Something you have yet to do.

  6. IndependentConservative Says:

    I’m only going to tell you this one time, if you attempt again to bring my family into this matter you will be banned! Don’t say a single further word about them or even the fact you’ve been warned. I grant you that same respect and have not brought your family into this.

    You identified the reality of the situation when you said the following:

    That doesn’t excuse the actions of Ms. Yates, nor does it pardon the hideous nature of drowning ones own children.

    I think you need to do a little homework on the Yates’ matter, because you are speaking while only knowing half the facts. It is true Rusty Yates wanted a 5th child, after doctors suggested against it. This does not condone a mother murdering her children, no more than a mother that murders a child via abortion. As the doctor on ABCNews show Primetime live said last night, more women have killed their children for convenience than because of “Satan”. And like him I believe she committed this crime as an act of personal convenience. Just as mothers killing their babies via abortion do.

    Andrea Yates was fully aware that what she was doing was wrong and unacceptable in this society. Let me clue you in on the details you seem to either not know about or fail to consider. Her family was there for her and they were helping her out. Andrea Yates said herself that she had been plotting for some time to kill the children when questioned on video tape. She said herself that she held off from doing it sooner because she knew she needed to wait for a moment when she would be alone. She always had other people around her and was unable to do it sooner. Either her husband Rusty was there or her mother in-law. On the day of the murders, Rusty Yates went to work and his mother (her mother in-law) was coming over to help with the kids 1 hour later. Andrea knew this left her with just 1 hour to commit the murders. She waited for this very moment when she knew she’d have just 1 hour to murder 5 children. She knew her actions were not acceptable and that’s why she waited for the one moment she would be alone for a very short period of time.

    When she committed the murders, she did it in a way that ensured none of the children knew they were about to be killed, or that a brother or sister was in the process of being killed. She fully planned these murders over a period of time and waited to do it in a way that would avoid anyone from knowing or preventing them.

    On the medical side, Andrea’s doctor had taken her off a strong antidepressant injection one week earlier, because he felt she did not need it given the circumstances with the 5 kids. She never told that doctor she felt like she wanted to kill them. She never mentioned a need to kill them to “save them from Satan” to anyone. And so what if she had, it would still be a cold blooded murder. But the fact she never said a word and fully planned the murders over time to be carried out discretely shows she was not just some “loony” acting out of control. She knew what she was doing was wrong.

    So Andrea Yates knew what she wanted to do, hid it from everyone and carried it out in the most discrete manner she could think of.

    She is a cold blooded murderer of children and nothing more.

  7. kiacyclic Says:

    Your discussion of Yates’ condition is selective (at best), and ignores numerous other signs of Yates’ mental health.  This is from her About profile:

    Andrea’s First Suicide Attempt : On June 16 1999, Andrea called Rusty and begged him to come home. He found her shaking involuntarily and chewing on her fingers. The next day, she was hospitalized after she tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of pills. She was transferred to the Methodist Hospital psychiatric unit and diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. The medical staff described Andrea as evasive in discussing her problems. However, on June 24 she was prescribed an antidepressant and released.
    Spiraling Downward: Once home, Andrea did not take the medication and as a result she began to self mutilate and refused to feed her children because she felt they were eating too much. She thought there were video cameras in the ceilings and said that the characters on television were talking to her and the children. She told Rusty about the hallucinations, yet neither of them informed Andrea’s psychiatrist, Dr. Starbranch. On July 20, Andrea put a knife to her neck and begged her husband to let her die.
    Warned About the Risks of Having More Babies : Andrea was again hospitalized and stayed in a catatonic state for 10 days. After being treated with an injection of different drugs that included Haldol, an anti-psychotic drug, her condition immediately improved. Rusty was optimistic about the drug therapy because Andrea appeared more like the person he first met. Dr. Starbranch warned the Yates that having another baby might bring on more episodes of psychotic behavior. Andrea was placed on out-patient care and prescribed Haldol.
    New Hopes for the Future : Andrea’s family urged Rusty to buy a home instead of returning Andrea to the cramped space of the bus. He purchased a nice home in a peaceful neighborhood. Once in her new home, Andrea’s condition improved to the point that she returned to past activities like swimming, cooking and some socializing. She was also interacting well with her children. She expressed to Rusty that she had strong hopes for the future but still viewed her life on the bus as her failure.

    Now we move to the reason why she was taken off Haldol.  Because she had become pregnant, which was done at her husband’s urging.  After the birth of Mary she went back-on Haldol when she was hospital with yet another breakdown following the death of her father.  I will also point-out that this hospitalization was at a different hospital, with a different doctor.  That doctor obviously misdiagnosed her condition.  She should not have been release.You don’t want me to bring your family into this.  Fine.  I’ll bring mine.My father is bipolar (manic-depressive).  He was misdiagnosed for years, and sent home repeatedly only to have more psychotic episodes.  When he was finally properly diagnosed, he was put on lithium, and I got my dad back.  But until he was properly diagnosed, my family suffered greatly.  My father is a good man, I’m proud of him and his recovery.  During the time that he was misdiagnosed, my mother did not leave us in his care.  We were sent to friends,  and relatives when my mother couldn’t be there to make take care of us.  She did not leave us with him, until someone could take care of us.  The Yates children were not so fortunate.While my father was ill, he had elaborate paranoid fantasies and plans.  At times he could sound quite lucid, sane, and rational.  But he was anything but.  At one point he actually was starting to convince distant relatives that it was my mother who was crazy and not him.  He is a very intelligent man, and applied that intelligence to his insanity.In Yates’ mind she was saving her children from going to hell by killing them because they were "not developing correctly."  She had visions of her son becoming a gay prostitute.  In her mind since she had failed her children they were going to grow-up in sin without being saved and thus would go to hell.  She wasn’t, as you suggest Mr. McGavock, saving them from Satan, in her mind she was saving them from herself.The other part of her elaborate psychosis is that she needed to be punished for being a terrible mother.  That was why she called 911 afterward and confessed to the crime.  That is why she plotted to get the kids alone so that she could kill them.  Just because she knew how to plot and plan does not mean that she was rational, or sane.What you refuse to recognize is that sometimes the best that we can do in situation like this is not to be unjust.  Imprisoning Ms. Yates is just that.  That isn’t to say that she isn’t a possible threat to others or herself.  That is why she is being committed to a mental institution.  Sometimes the best that we can do is to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.  Sometimes that requires understanding and compassion rather than judgement and punishment.

  8. IndependentConservative Says:

    As you mentioned, she was put back on Haldol, but after that a doctor took her off it one week before she committed the murders and that was not because she was pregnant with a 6th child. He took her off it one week before the murders because in his professional opinion she was doing better.

    Rusty got the house and had someone there to help when he was not there. She found 1 hour to murder 5 children and was determined to do so despite the family, doctors and drugs. All this talk of her thoughts about killing children because of “Satan” or herself or whatever came after the fact. If she had disclosed such to her doctor or family they would have done something as they were already trying to do.

    These were murders of convenience and she should have simply left her family if she felt she could not handle being there. Instead she murdered all 5 of her children and never followed through on killing herself. Somehow whenever she tried to kill herself she just never could do it right, which probably was not by accident, but by design. She was very careful when killing those children, but never devised a plan to kill herself that was successful, although she could have if she really wanted to. She devised an evilly masterful way to kill 5 children in less than one hour. She could have done away with herself in less time if she really wanted to do it.

    We don’t agree on this issue and we’re not going to agree.

  9. kiacyclic Says:

    “If she had,” “she could have,” “if she really wanted to.”

    Mr. McGavock refuses to understand that the insane are incapable of making rational decisions. Saying that Yates had other choices than methodically killing her children is irrelevant if she was legally insane. Of course she had other choices, but she had no rational mind to make them with.

    Mr. McGaovock will not address the essential fact irrationality in this case. Instead he wants only to assign blame.

  10. IndependentConservative Says:

    Mr. Heyman (Andrew Heyman), it is interesting how you never seem to care about the murder of children. You run a Liberal blog where you defend the murder of children in the womb as a “right” of medical privacy.

  11. kiacyclic Says:

    You are right. I do believe in the right of a woman to choice to have an abortion. And so obviously I do not think that abortion is murder.

    Be that as it may, that debate has no place in our current one. We both accept that the death of the Yates children is murder. Our difference is over if Ms. Yates can be held responsible for her actions. You say yes. I say no.

    You are attempting to hold up the fact that I “run a [l]iberal blog” and that I am pro-choice, as proof that my position on the Yates verdict is wrong. And so you are trying to change the topic of this debate.

  12. IndependentConservative Says:

    It is all related because it is all murder.

    I feel Andrea Yates deserved the death penalty for her actions. Given she has killed 5 children and is a danger to society. But I feel her soul could still be saved from eternal damnation, although her physical body would have been condemned to death. If Andrea Yates honestly repents for her murdering, Jesus will forgive her of her sins. She was already a Christian who accepted Jesus as her Lord and savior.

    Despite my views of her earthly body, I feel her soul could be saved and I would meet her in paradise.

    Do you believe that Mr. Heyman? And have you accepted Jesus yourself? If not you should consider it, because Jesus loves you and is able to forgive anyone of their sins.

    That’s the real topic of this blog and what really matters.

  13. kiacyclic Says:

    Since you brought-up Christ, let’s ask ourselves is Christ ever advocated anything along the lines of what you have advocated when you started out this post by saying, “Once upon a time in America, a woman who killed 5 babies/children would have been burned at a stake, hung from a tree or shot at a given number of paces.”

    Look through the Gospel (the actual testament of Jesus) and let me know if Jesus brings up anything like this. I doubt you will since Christ advocated love and forgiveness.

  14. IndependentConservative Says:

    Christ never petitioned for those crucified with him to be released. One of them even confessed he deserved to be there. Christ did not disagree with that man’s claim.

    Jesus also asked his disciples to once arm themselves with swords for protection.

    Paul also advocated killing a person involved in some serious immorality.

    But regardless of how much you agree or disagree with me on the matter of the death penalty or the use of force, I’m going to ask you one last time. Have you accepted Jesus as your savior or are you at all interested?

  15. kiacyclic Says:

    The Crucifixion wasn’t about petitioning for the release of others around Christ. It was about sacrifice.

    Christ did however, stop the stoning (which usually meant death) of a woman, and told the jeering crowd that the person without sin should cast the first stone.

    Christ also said that he who lives by the sword dies by it. He called for us when struck on one side of our face to offer our enemy the other.

    In my previous comment I asked for you to “look through the Gospel,” I considered mentioning the Paul is no where in the Gospels, since you “fire and brimstone” theocrats often use him to justify your more cruel and violent beliefs. The Gospel books of the Bible are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

    As far as your questions about my personal faith, as far as the fundamentalist brand of Christianity that you seem to subscribe to is concerned, no I am not “born-again.” I do however consider myself a Christian, although to you I might as well be drawing pentagrams, sacrificing goats, and listening to rock records backwards. After all there is no middle ground, so I am either saved or I am under the power of that guy with the horns.

    But I will tell you that God has saved my silly little behind, saved me from myself, and led me into a life that I never thought possible.

    To me God isn’t a big Dad in the sky that puts certain people in “the corner” of hell for all eternity, while allowing others to play in his garden of heaven. We do that all on our own.

    God, my worthy opponent, is something way beyond anything that either of us could ever understand. Yet God is available to whoever wants to be in God’s presence.

    So save the digital “saved or condemned” thinking for those Chick comic book tracts, and enjoy the little passion play that you have put yourself in where you and your American Taliban brethren bravely defend the faith against depraved critical thinkers.

    I will leave you with a bit of wisdom from Hassan i Sabbah, “Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.”

    Gosh aren’t I scary?

  16. IndependentConservative Says:

    Yes it is time for you to go. You do not believe that salvation truly comes via Christ and him alone, yet you claim reverence for his teachings. Christ said himself:

    Matthew 11:27 (King James Version)

    27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.


    John 5:22 (King James Version)

    22) For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:


    John 14:6 (New King James Version)

    6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

    So Jesus Christ clearly stated that he passes judgement and he is the only way to the Father.

    Which is why Jesus told the one on the cross next to him that repented, that he would join him in paradise, while not granting that same honor to the other who mocked him.

    Jesus saved a woman from stoning by a mob acting outside of the government judicial system of that time. Just as we prevent mobs from carrying out justice today and reserve it for the court system. Jesus never stopped a legal trial and never made an effort to free anyone tried and convicted of a crime, even those sentenced to death.

    You are not scary, but a sad one sir. You spend plenty of time on your blog attacking Evangelical and Conservative Christians. Then you try to speak of Christ, while denying his true role as God in flesh with the power to save souls and the only means for your salvation.

    You may keep your “wisdom” and I will keep the Lord. Your leaving is a good thing, because you seek nothing but discord.

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