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Old 03-12-2002, 06:54 PM   #1
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Andrea Yates verdict is in

Guilty of capital murder.
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Old 03-12-2002, 07:24 PM   #2
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl:
Guilty of capital murder.
good.
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Old 03-12-2002, 07:36 PM   #3
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I haven't thought long enough about the case to determine what her punishment should be, but one thing is certain: Yates is clearly insane. If the jury can't see that, well, I don't know what to think.
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:46 PM   #4
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I'm sure the jury seen a whole lot more facts then any of us. So for us to say anything when we certainly dont know the whole story is ignorant.

I think anyone who kills is insane. And i also think anyone who kills deserves never to see the light of day.

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Old 03-13-2002, 04:45 PM   #5
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What I find most disappointing is that, under the Texas Constitution, the jury was not allowed to know what the alternative would have been, had she been found "not guilty," which would have been, likely, her spending the rest of her life in a mental institution (due to her plea of "not guilty by reason of insanity").

We complain about prison overcrowding, but what do you expect when we have an essentialist, punishment-based criminal justice system? Not only does Yates need severe mental health care, but she poses absolutely no threat to society to warrant a prison term, not to mention the death penalty.

It is most definitely an unfortunate situation, but Yates will be subject to God, who will ultimately decide her moral culpability for what she did to her children. As it stands, she more than passed the test for legal insanity and poses no risk to the public.

A mental institution is where she belongs, not prison.

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Old 03-13-2002, 05:06 PM   #6
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Yay. I feel that she will be held accountable for what she's done, but wish that her husband would take some responsibility as well. Yates' doctors told her not to have any more children because of her mental state. The BOTH ignored the Dr's advice, not to mention their family's advice, and had two more children. In a way, by having more children and not treating his wife, he should have seen this coming. Maybe I'm alone here, but although I feel tremendous sympathy for him, I don't think he's completely innocent in this situation.
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Old 03-13-2002, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peaseblossom:
Yay. I feel that she will be held accountable for what she's done, but wish that her husband would take some responsibility as well. Yates' doctors told her not to have any more children because of her mental state. The BOTH ignored the Dr's advice, not to mention their family's advice, and had two more children. In a way, by having more children and not treating his wife, he should have seen this coming. Maybe I'm alone here, but although I feel tremendous sympathy for him, I don't think he's completely innocent in this situation.
Exactly right. People were warning him he should get her some help, including her sister and their minister.

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Old 03-13-2002, 06:10 PM   #8
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They were very religious...and I have known of very religious families who believed mental illness was a sin. Really. They believed if you trusted God enough he would get the kinks out of your head. I've heard those same words...and if you had problems you must be doing something wrong...the idea that your mind can get sick the same way your kidneys can doesn't even enter their minds. Rusty Yates was probably living in that la la land...thinking she would get better in time.

I'm not saying the Yates or the people they associated with felt that way...but from what I have seen of them it looks that way.
I hope this is a wake up call to those particular kinds of religious people that mental illness is real people...and listen to the mental health proffesionals the same way you would listen to a heart doctor.
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:15 PM   #9
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dream wanderer, you are unfortunately correct. Growing up in a missionary family, I remember with perfect clarity what it was like to have my mother suffering from clinical depression for years...and having people tell her to her face that she just needed to "trust God more" or some bullshit like that. She was physically sick for a long time and no doctors could diagnose her. It was really awful. Finally, we came back to the States and she got help via counselling and some medication. Now, she's better than I remember her being in YEARS and my parents were able to go back to their mission work. As it was, had my father listened to the naysayers about psychology being "un-Christian", my mom would still be sick and they would have quit their jobs. If anything pisses me off within the religious community, this is the major thing.
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:51 PM   #10
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I agree with both of you, sula and dream wanderer--and melon. Andrea Yates was let down by everyone around her, it seems. She belongs in a mental institution. I feel the more accurate verdict would be something like "Guilty but insane," which doesn't exist.
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Old 03-13-2002, 07:12 PM   #11
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Let
her
FRY.

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Old 03-13-2002, 08:14 PM   #12
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i have to go with dream wanderer,sula and melon on this one, obviously none of us were in the courtroom to hear every detail, but clearly she is mentally ill. women kill their children every day all over the world behind mental illness. killing a single child is less dramatic and doesn't play as well to a television audience, so the others are never known to us. mental illness is so complex that to level a verdict based on whether the defendant knew right from wrong at the monent of the act is overly simplistic. nevermind that the trial was in texas. that's a whole other can of worms.


diamond, that was a very hateful thing to say.
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Old 03-13-2002, 09:37 PM   #13
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Whats even more hateful is what she did to her 5 children.

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Old 03-13-2002, 10:21 PM   #14
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It amazes me that there's a certain point where an act becomes SO TERRIBLE that it must be an act done out of insanity.

Someone drives down the street, a kid jumps out and is run over? Manslaughter, murder in the third degree.

A man walks in on his wife and her love and kills both in a rage of passion? Murder, probably second degree.

A person hunts down a hated enemy and shoots him twice in the back? Premeditated murder in the first.

But a woman drowns her five children, including one she had to chase around the house? Well, she MUST be insane, so let's not punish her.

Sorry, I don't buy it.

Besides, we must remember that Yates then called 911 and her husband to tell both that she a terrible thing. That's not indication that she didn't know right from wrong, the only distinction through which you can be acquited on the count of insanity.

So, should she be put in prison and possibly executed? Yes.

Should she also be treated for whatever mental problems led her to muder her children? Yes, but in prison.

Does she "pose no risk to the public"? Maybe, depending on two things: whether she ever has children again, and whether those children count as being part of the public.

(Very odd: you concieve, and you can kill it. Let it be born, and you must take care of it. You don't feed it properly, beat the child, or don't send it to school, and you should be tried for child abuse. BUT if you MURDER the child, God forbid a court of law convict you of murder.)
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Old 03-13-2002, 10:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:


Not only does Yates need severe mental health care, but she poses absolutely no threat to society to warrant a prison term, not to mention the death penalty.

Careful what you say here. I think it's fair to argue whether she should be put in a mental hospital, a prison or an electric chair, but in her current state she is clearly a threat to society.
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Old 03-14-2002, 09:18 AM   #16
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db9 I would've expected a more intelligent comment than "let her fry" from you.

None of us here have the facts, but it does bug me that the jury wasn't told about the alternative.

was she insane? possibly. what drives a mother to methodically drown her five children and then call 911. It's not normal. Neither is the woman who ran into a homeless person, drove home with him in her windshield and then left him there three days to die while continously going out to her garage and apologising.

Not Guilty by reason of insanity or temporary insanity is a hard line to argue. It bugs me that it is used as a last-ditch resort by defense attorney's (see the Tulloch case in NH in my hometown as an example).

In my opinion, everything in the Yates case points to her being mentally disturbed. Did she know that she had done wrong. You could argue yes because she called 911. However, if she had a serious mental disorder, she may have not had a choice even if she knew she was doing wrong. The human mind can behave very oddly when disturbed.

She CAN be made to pay for her crimes AND recieve treatment. Psychiatric hospitals are NOT fun and games. If she has a mental disorder, she probably would be in the hospital for years considering what she did.

If she is sent to prison for life she will not recieve proper treatment and will probably only get worse.

Executing her makes no sense to me personally.

I think a lot of people who commit violent crimes suffer from mental disorders. Where we draw the line on who recieve treatment and who goes to jail is hard to figure out. I don't even know.

People who are found not guilty by reason of insanity are stigmatized by society. Billy Milligan is a good example.

Most people don't suffer from disorders so it is hard for them to understand how disturbed people can be the way they are, and so they refuse to see the possibility.

Anyway you side, it is very sad and disturbing. There are no winners in this case, that is the only thing I am sure of.

And the whole "we can treat mental disorders with a pill" crap is exactly that: CRAP. A band aid approach to very serious issues.

Putting our children on Ritilan, plopping everyone with depression on Prozac is nuts. Managed Health Care won't pay for proper therapy many times. There are a lot of people who suffer from mental disorders who never recieve the proper treatment and get worse because of it.

And some would argue that our current society breeds mental disorders. Read Eric Fromm's "Escape From Freedom"...
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Old 03-14-2002, 10:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
dream wanderer, you are unfortunately correct. Growing up in a missionary family, I remember with perfect clarity what it was like to have my mother suffering from clinical depression for years...and having people tell her to her face that she just needed to "trust God more" or some bullshit like that. She was physically sick for a long time and no doctors could diagnose her. It was really awful. Finally, we came back to the States and she got help via counselling and some medication. Now, she's better than I remember her being in YEARS and my parents were able to go back to their mission work. As it was, had my father listened to the naysayers about psychology being "un-Christian", my mom would still be sick and they would have quit their jobs. If anything pisses me off within the religious community, this is the major thing.
Sula, I am sorry about the experiences of your mother. That must have been awful.

But, be careful when you throw out the phrase "trust God more or some bullshit like that". I don't think we ever trust God enough, no matter what our condition. There is always room to grow.

I definitely know what some people are saying when they say "psychology is un-Christian". It can definitely be taken too far. When they give out mind drugs like they were mints, we've got a problem in this society. My friend was depressed for years. Her doctor prescribed drugs to her, and even recommended she go to a mental hospital. She said it was the worst mistake she ever made in her life. It made her worse. She left the hospital and slowly got off the drugs, and she's been much better. And how did she get better? By meditation on God's word and complete faith in Him.
Now, that being said, I realize that there may be times when a chemical imbalance is in question, and people may need help from psychologists. But, that is not always the case, and in this society it is just so damn easy for the psychologist to just throw drugs at a problem. I've seen it in more case than one. Our kids are growing up on Ritalin - and why? Because they're hyper. Hell, I was hyper when I was a kid. No drugs were forced on me. I grew up. I grew out of my hyperness. I don't suffer from depression.
I think the fact that kids are being so doped up early in their lives is often what leads to tehir depression as adults. That was almost certainly the case with my fore-mentioned friend.
Another problem I have with secular psychologists is that many "enable" their patients. They help their patients continue in "victim mode", and often tell them just what they want to hear.
Another friend's wife went to a psychologist when she felt like her marriage was going nowhere. What was the advice given to her? Go with your feelings - if you're not happy, it's okay to leave him. You must be true to yourself. No "why don't you go see a marriage counselor", nothing.
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Old 03-14-2002, 10:29 AM   #18
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About Andrea Yates, I think that she was maybe possessed. But she may have gone insane. However, in my mind, that doesn't lessen what punishment she should receive - life in prison.
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:04 AM   #19
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disclaimer: the below post has nothing to do with the Yates trial.

Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
But, be careful when you throw out the phrase "trust God more or some bullshit like that". I don't think we ever trust God enough, no matter what our condition. There is always room to grow.
After my experiences with the uncaring attitudes in which this advice was given, I would stand by that phrase. My mother WAS in prayer and desperately seeking God and doing all the right things as far as spirituality goes. But depression is a physical ailment. Or at least hers was. And it made me sick to my stomach to hear self-righteous people who had no fucking clue about mental illness to look down on her and to judge her Christianity by the fact that she was suffering from depression. As if it was something she could do anything about. God gave us brains. He gave us resources. He expects us to use them. If you are sick with cancer, you don't sit around passively praying and hoping God will heal you. Of course you pray, but you also use the resources available to you and you go get medical help. It is called common sense...not being "un-Christian". I see no difference with mental illnesses. But unfortunately, there are many (not all, of course, but in my experience it has been the overwhelming majority) within Christianity that place mental illness into an entirely different category.

For goodness sake, there was even one woman that had the gall to suggest my mom was being oppressed by demons. Thank God I wasn't in the room at the time because I think I would have decked her. Talk about making a sick person feel infinitely worse.

When it comes down to it, I think there is a lack of education and a lack of understanding within much of the Christian community. A fully integrated human includes a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Unfortunately, we tend to focus on the spirit and body part and leave the mind to fend for itself. In my experience, the party line tends to take whatever is happening in "secular" society (ie. developments in psychology), view it with suspicion just because it did not originate in the Christian world, and then dismiss it without due consideration. I have seen this happen over and over in the mission organization in which my parents work. And I've also seen dozens of dedicated missionaries broken and scarred as a result of the callous treatment of these very REAL problems that are not acknowledged or are blamed upon those who are suffering. The way I see it, Jesus was a man of intense care and someone who had compassion on people. I can't see how beating our own brothers and sisters down reflects well on our faith or on Jesus himself.

Granted, I probably sound rather opinionated on this subject, but it is one in which I have had very personal experience and a good amount of run-ins with the kind of attitudes I described above.

So in conclusion, I wouldn't say that trusting God is bullshit. But telling a person suffering from mental illness that somehow it is their fault and if they just "trusted God" enough they would be fine...THAT is bullshit. Quite frankly, I think that if we gave each other more grace in day to day life and nurtured each other as members of the body of Christ, quite a lot of potential stress victims and depression victims would not end up in that state. In the mission community, I know of several organizations that have woken up to this fact and now have trained psychologists and counselors spend time with the various missionaries on the field at least once a year to talk through the stress of their job and any issues that might be arising. Rather than wait until the missionary is burnt out and ready to quit, this proactive approach seems to me to be a much more caring and intelligent way to go about things: recognizing that we as humans are going to need help and that we are vulnerable to emotional and mental suffering. Writing those things off as spiritual weakness seems to me to show a complete lack of understanding what "carrying each others burdens" is all about.

so those are my thoughts.

[This message has been edited by sulawesigirl4 (edited 03-14-2002).]
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:40 AM   #20
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
For goodness sake, there was even one woman that had the gall to suggest my mom was being oppressed by demons. Thank God I wasn't in the room at the time because I think I would have decked her. Talk about making a sick person feel infinitely worse.

Granted, I probably sound rather opinionated on this subject, but it is one in which I have had very personal experience and a good amount of run-ins with the kind of attitudes I described above.

So in conclusion, I wouldn't say that trusting God is bullshit. But telling a person suffering from mental illness that somehow it is their fault and if they just "trusted God" enough they would be fine...THAT is bullshit. Quite frankly, I think that if we gave each other more grace in day to day life and nurtured each other as members of the body of Christ, quite a lot of potential stress victims and depression victims would not end up in that state. In the mission community, I know of several organizations that have woken up to this fact and now have trained psychologists and counselors spend time with the various missionaries on the field at least once a year to talk through the stress of their job and any issues that might be arising. Rather than wait until the missionary is burnt out and ready to quit, this proactive approach seems to me to be a much more caring and intelligent way to go about things: recognizing that we as humans are going to need help and that we are vulnerable to emotional and mental suffering. Writing those things off as spiritual weakness seems to me to show a complete lack of understanding what "carrying each others burdens" is all about.
so those are my thoughts.
[This message has been edited by sulawesigirl4 (edited 03-14-2002).]
Sula, I hope you know I was not talking about your mother's situation when I called into question your statement about "trusting God...bullshit". I was just applying that to life in general.
I agree with you that telling someone with mental illness that it is their fault is wrong.
I don't know what was happening to your mother. Like I said, I am sorry about what happened to your mother, It is indeed sad.
I'm very opinionated on the subject, also, but it's because I have had numerous run-ins with the kinds of thing I described.
Also, "opressed with demons" doesn't mean teh same thing as "possessed by demons". I think we are all oppressed by demons to some extent. To me, being oppressed by demons means they are putting crazy thoughts in your head, telling you to do things you don't want to do (that's a common, every day occurrence - it's called temptation, and is a sign of the spiritual warfare going on all around us all day, all night). "Being possessed by demons" means they take over your spirit. I don't believe Christians can be possessed by demons, because the Bible makes it clear that when you become a Christian, Christ' spirit takes over and you are a new creation. So, how can a demon take over when Christ is already there? The Bible says that darkness and light cannot abide together.
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