Andrea Yates Trial

Essay by colby1384High School, 12th gradeA, March 2008

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Andrea Yates was a mother of five, living in Texas, suffering from severe postpartum depression. One day she drowned her five children at home in her bathtub because she believed she was a bad mother. She tried to use one of the most controversial excuses as her defense. This plea is the insanity defense. Many people believe that this plea is widely over used, when in fact it is very rarely used at all. Postpartum depression is also questioned by most on whether or not this disorder is characterized as a real mental illness.

In March 2002, Yates was convicted of drowning three of her five children. The prosecution was able to convince the jury that Yates may have been mentally ill, but she was still capable of knowing what she was doing while drowning her children. According to Texas law, in order for Yates to be granted the insanity plea she had to be insane to the point where she would not know right from wrong at the time of the crime.

This case was brought to the Texas 1st Court of Appeals because the expert witness for the state, Dr. Park Deitz made false statements saying that Yates was a big fan of the show "Law and Order" and she may have been influenced to kill her children from an episode that was aired. Deitz was a consultant for the show, and as apart of the appea,l the defense contacted NBC which informed them that such an episode never aired. The appeals court believes that Deitz did not commit perjury intentionally and that he had no idea that he was giving a false testimony.Dietz has been in such nationally known murder trials such as Susan Smith, Jeffrey Dahmer, and the "unabomber" Ted Kaczynski. So the defense...