Yates found Not-Guilty by reason of insanity

A jury returned a verdict of not-guilty by reason of insanity in the Andrea Yates case today. Yates had previously been convicted and sentenced to life for drowning her five children in a bathtub in 2001. That verdict was overturned based on false testimony given by prosecution witness Dr. Park Dietz. I had an opportunity to speak with defense counsel George Parnham a few years ago, just after the initial verdict, and was convinced then that Yates was clearly insane at the time of the killings, and that it was unlikely that she would ever be cured by treatment. Given the nature of the killings and the narrow treatment texas law gives the insanity defense, I hardly would have considered todays outcome likely. The reactions I’ve seen so far have been all over the spectrum. Fair outcome, given the circumstances? Comments are open.

Houston Chronicle: Jury Finds Yates Insane, Not Guilty. blogger reaction.

3 Comments so far

  1. TheBizofKnowledge (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 6:46 pm

    I haven’t followed this case very closely, though I’ve of course read about Yates whenever she’s been in the headlines. I’ve always felt that the insanity defense would work in the end, even with Texas’ narrow interpretation of the law. And yes, I do think this was a fair outcome given the circumstances.

  2. the next great genius (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 11:02 pm

    Absolutely a fair outcome. I’ve read all of the background on this case, and based on that, Andrea Yates has obviously been a very troubled woman. She may never be rehabilitated, but I still don’t believe prison is where she belongs.

  3. adrian (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 1:06 am

    She beat and drowned her five children one by one. Clearly she was insane. I just fail to see how that excuses what she did.

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