Andrea Yates made news first as the woman who killed her children individually in the bath tub, and was convicted of murder– that is until this last jury trial. This jury found her not-guilty by reason of insanity. The family thought this was quite a breakthrough, since they have been trying to get the jury to understand that any woman who would drown her children because she thought she was saving them is under some serious problems. So, now she’ll be committed to a mental institution until she’s deemed not to be a harm and then she could be released.
Although I don’t want to see anyone punished with the death penalty or life in prision, there was a crime committed, and this ruling just goes one step further to removing the concept of absolutes from this nation. I mean, if Andrea is not guilty, who is? The thoughts in her head (that we suspect but cannot prove were there)? Was it her family/friends that did not see that she was struggling and therefore bear the blame? Was it her husband for having children with her? Who bears the guilt? God?
These children lost their lives for some reason– someone bears that responsibility. We’ve been walking down a road in this society toward it being no one’s fault, and no one’s responsibility. No fault divorce is another one of these things. We leave out of the picture the absurdity of the thought that no one is responsible. Perhaps the equitable thing would have been for the jury to say “Andrea’s not at fault, so the parents, friends, and husband will all spend 20 years in jail as would be the normal offense.
I understand that the parents don’t want to see their child behind bars for life, especially after losing the children, but they were living beings– and there should be a penalty for this act before the next person tries to use this defense.