Yates' murder conviction overturned

  1. Yates' murder conviction overturned
    Texas court reverses 2003 ruling of woman who drowned her kids

    (CNN) -- A Texas appeals court in Houston Thursday reversed the capital murder convictions of Andrea Yates, the woman who drowned her five children in a bathtub, citing the false testimony of a prosecution witness.

    According to a report from The Associated Press, Yates' lawyers argued last month before a three-judge panel of the First Court of Appeals in Houston that psychiatrist Park Dietz was wrong when he said he consulted on an episode of the TV show "Law and Order" involving a woman found innocent by reason of insanity for drowning her children.

    Jurors in 2002 sentenced Yates to life in prison in the 2001 deaths of three of her children. She was not tried in the deaths of the other two.

    Yates told authorities that Satan told her to kill the children. Despite a documented history of mental illness, a jury rejected her plea of innocent by reason of insanity and convicted her of murder in 2002. She was sentenced to life in prison but will be eligible for parole in 40 years.
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Amazing what can happen in these cases. This case literally turns my stomach. Beyond tragic.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    So what happens now---does she get to go free so she can produce more children that she can kill when she goes off the deep end again?!! I'm sorry, but I have NO sympathy for this woman......I went through severe postpartum depression that got worse with each subsequent pregnancy, but I'd have drowned myself before harming one hair on my childrens' heads. I hope they keep her locked up, even if it means in a mental hospital, for the protection of society.........Yates should never walk the streets as a free woman again.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    I agree Marla and Deb . .. she needs to stay locked up.

    I am confused about the article - what does it matter that the psychiatrist did not consult on an episode of Law and Order? Does that make him less knowledgeable because he actually wasn't part of a tv series ???

    I'm probably missing something here . . . .

  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    she is dangerous, no matter what they say.......she is sicker than sick. must never ever again become pregnant or be near kids as far as I am concerned.....I don't hate her, just think she is beyond sick.
  7. by   fergus51
    I personally don't think this woman belongs in a prison. She was mentally ill, and having post partum depression is not the same as being dellusional like she was. I think she belongs in a hospital, and I agree she should not have more children EVER.
  8. by   mattsmom81
    From what I hear Yates will off herself as soon as she gets the chance. Her mental problem has lifted enough that she now realizes the horror of what she has done..and is on constant suicide watch. What a sad sad thing that happened in that family...beyond tragic. I look at the pictures of those beautiful children and just cry.
  9. by   deadhead359
    I agree...it is so obvious that this woman was out of her mind when she did this
    I personally think her husband has some answering to do for, when he saw that she got worse with each subsequent child WHY did he keep getting her pregnant!!! It is absolutely tragic for all of them
  10. by   URO-RN
    She belonged in a mental hospital not a jail. She should not be released, just committed to a psych hospital for life.

    I believe that this conviction may have done more harm than good for mom's who are suffering from severe post-partum depression. Some will be extremely reluctant to discuss symptoms with their md's or NP's for fear that they will be thought of as a threat to their kids.

    Just my thoughts.

    The one who drowned her 2 little boys in a lake, said a black man did it and later was found out that she did it because of a man.... that mother (and I use the term loosely) should be in jail, and/or be in death row.
    Last edit by Jo Anne on Jan 6, '05
  11. by   live4today
    Quote from deadhead359
    I agree............................................. ......
    I personally think her husband has some answering to do for, when he saw
    that she got worse with each subsequent child WHY did he keep getting her pregnant!!!..................................
    That's what I originally thought before the case went to trial. From day one, I was suspicious of that man when I first saw him on the news talking about it.
    And his mother knew about his wife's "condition", too. Why didn't she step in and do something. I would have if they had been my grandchildren. :stone
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    This woman is sick and needs help.

    This sounds mean, but at least in prison she was kept away from children, so "Satan" wouldn't tel her to kill again.

    I'm afraid this conviction overturn is going to enable her to roam around free.
  13. by   lil' girl
    Surely she won't go free, just to a mental institute which is probably where she belongs for a while. Get her head straightened out??? Then send her back to prison.
  14. by   SharonH, RN
    I was as sickened by what Andrea Yates did to her children as anyone but clearly she was/is mentally ill and she should have not been tried as a competent adult. However, jailing the mentally ill is quite the norm in this country and Texas in particular has no problem jailing and killing the mentally retarded and mentally ill. The whole system needs to be revamped.