Thursday, July 27, 2006

Andrea Yates Tragedy

It whizzed by in a blur and then I had the chance to focus on it when it recycled itself in the news headlines. A jury in Texas found Andrea Yates not guilty by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her five children, none of them older than 6 years if memory serves me right. This was Yates second trial. In the first trial a jury of her peers found her guilty but the verdict was thrown out afterwards based on what legal minds call a "technical glitch, procedural error, or some other such nonsense ." Now she is herded off to a mental facility for "intensive" treatment and counseling sessions. My question is, what for? Can't they just lock her in a room (instead of a cell in this case), throw her a coloring book and some yogurt, and pass her a mop once a week so she can clean up around her accomodations? The woman gets away with murdering her five children including an infant daughter but her actions are rationalized through the time honored defense team practice of basing a case on insanity. And modern juries are still dumb enough to buy it.

Let us attempt to delve into the world of common sense which we know has no business in a court room. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists constantly feel "beneath" their M.D. counterparts so most are more than willing to be labeled experts in a courtroom and justify their education and professional goals by assisting a defense attorney in convincing the world that the accused is scientifically "insane." Unless bailiffs had to physically shackle Andrea Yates to prevent her from removing her own eyes and eating them or to quell the stench from her bathing in her own wastes, she is NOT insane. Insane is lighting yourself on fire and tossing yourself upon your neighbor's grill because you really believe you are an Oscar Mayer wiener and you hope to get eaten.

OK, so obviously this second "loony" jury in Texas bought the whole "crazy as a craphouse rat" defense put forth in the second trial. A murderer escapes any semblance of real punishment and the taxpayers get to flip her bill (probably anywhere from $80k to $120k per year) for the rest of her natural life so that graduate students can use her as the basis for their thesis and earn their Ph.D's. You have to love the state of modern juris prudence. How ridiculous.