CNN just reported that Texas’s highest criminal court let stand a lower court ruling that threw out Andrea Yates’s murder conviction for drowning her children in June 2001.
With no qualms about wasting taxpayer money, Harris County Assistant District Attorney Alan Curry said the case would be retried if Yates’s attorney won’t settle for a plea bargain.
Andrea Yates has remained in prison since the lower court overturned her conviction in January. Essentially, Yates’s attorney figured that since the massively psychotic Yates is receiving psychiatric medical treatment in prison, she might as well be there as anywhere else.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the husband and attorney agree to a plea bargain, in fact, because it is unlikely Yates will ever be well enough to be set free, and a trial would just be unnecessary stress as well as cost. Also, they have good reason to want her to stay in prison, explained at the end of this post. But a humane justice system would not have tried her in the first place.
I’ve written about Yates before; this is a repeat from May 2003:
I followed the Andrea Yates trial closely, and came to the conclusion that Texas is not only like a whole ‘nother country. It’s also stuck in a whole ‘nother century, sometime in the Dark Ages. The Texas justice system does not recognize brain disease; to them, insanity is a character flaw, or maybe devil possession.
The early news stories about Andrea Yates called her illness “postpartum depression,” but the truth is that she was a five-alarm schizophrenic. She had been sinking deeper and deeper into psychosis for several years, had attempted suicide, and had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals. In the months before the killings, one of her friends was so alarmed at her behavior she was keeping notes.
Two weeks before she killed her children, a bleeping incompetent psychiatrist took her off the antipsychotic meds — cold turkey — that had propped her up and kept her functional. A couple of days before she killed her children, her husband Randy took her back to this psychiatrist and begged him to put her back on her meds; the doc refused.
Once in county jail, the psychiatric staff proclaimed she was the most psychotic inmate they had ever seen. Several of the prison psychologists and psychiatrists — people who worked with her for many weeks — testified at trial that Yates was massively delusional. A prominent neuropsychiatrist tested her and diagnosed severe schizophrenia, noting major frontal lobe impairment. During her trial, Yates had to be drugged into catatonia so she could sit in her seat and not try to catch flies with her tongue.
The jury was told, over and over, that Yates had a disease of the brain. They were not told that, if found not guilty by reason of insanity, Yates would not have gone free. The court would have ordered her to be hospitalized, not to be released without another court order.
The prosecutors trotted out two primary witnesses. One was the psychiatrist who had taken her off her meds and who would have been charged with murder if I’d had anything to say about it. He said he saw no sign of psychosis in Yates. One suspects this guy couldn’t find shit in an outhouse.
The other witness was a paid expert psychiatrist who is also a consultant for “Law and Order.” He said that Yates had gotten the idea for killing her children from a “Law and Order” episode. Later it was determined that there was no such episode; it had been scripted but never produced.
After several weeks of testimony, the jury took all of four hours to find Yates guilty of murder. They decided she couldn’t have been crazy because she had called 911 to report the childrens’ deaths. Yes, this makes sense. A crazy person would have made up some story about intruders to avoid punishment.
Since the Yates trial, another Texas killer mother, Deanna Laney, was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the stoning deaths of two of her children. Laney lacked Yates’s long and well documented history of psychiatric illness, but the “witness for hire” hack psychiatrist, Dr. Park Dietz, who testified for the prosecution at the Yates trial testified for the defense at the Laney trial, which should prove what an absolute whore the man is. Anyway, Laney was committed to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital, and the state of Texas expected her husband to pay the bills. I undersand Mr. Laney didn’t waste much time filing for divorce.