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Andrea Yates conviction overturned - Page 2

post #31 of 113

Psychosis is quite easily recognized through studies and neurological wave pattern tests. The mind does not work in the same way, and does not have access to the neural region in control of logic and moral values. In a psychsis, one does not react normally to word association tests, or reaction tests. They will react to the words death, murder, and so forth, as if responding to the word puppy. Humans eyes generally dialate, their palms sweat, they act nervous, when confronted with the idea of a murder, especially one they committed.

In this particular case, she was CATATONIC during certain times after each birth. She exhibited dissociative behaviour, depression, manic tendencies. I severely doubt that the husband didn't notice her failing mentally. I think he assumed that the way to make her happy was just to keep her with child.. This will only make the situation worse. I think, if nothing else, he was in denial, but that denial is equitable to neglect. Just as it is legally considered neglect by the parent if the children's babysitter skips out with no warning.
post #32 of 113
She Waited until after her husband was away. Correct. My husband is often not home when I am. And If I were having a psychotic episode while my husband was about, he'd certainly see to it that I could come to no harm. It's plausible that any previous episodes had occured with him there. That HE was there to Make sure they were okay.

But he's in Denial. It's okay. He's gonna go to work, nothing will happen, she was having a bad day.. she's acting.. better...She's acting normal...

And he left and she snapped again. But he wasn't home to put her straight.

That's the scenario I see. Yes. She needs to be helped.. and as Tricia said, she'll be required to be under medical supervision for the rest of her life. Probably even under the RARE chance that she's "innocent". She's apparently still showing signs of instability, so, I think it's to the point that her insanity is preeeetty much secured.
post #33 of 113
[ She had done it five times-five times, again and again. That takes a lot of effort. Afterwards, she phoned the police which again indicates she knew what she did was wrong and a crime.

I've personally seen elderly people, in their 80s and older and very petite in the throws of dementia and it would take 3-4 nurses to hold them down, when they were fighting off any care or procedure. The body goes in fight or fight mode when it is under a lot of stress, and people can become stronger or faster, than they ever could, when not in a demented or psychotic state.
post #34 of 113
My grams Had Alzheimers and stayed at home with us until she passed because she couldn't speak english, and no homes could take her. She tried to knife me one night, for stealing something that she hadn't had for over 40 years. Trust me, I was a strong kid, and fought a lot in school at the time..I couldn't throw this 95 pouund woman off me for all that I tried.

You can do powerful things when your brain doesn't function
post #35 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
Do they call the police afterward and describe exactly what they did in detail?
No, but most of them wanted or attempted to call the police to tell them what happened. LOL! And most when and if they became lucid again had no memory of what had occured.
post #36 of 113
I think so, because I've gotten calls from my b-i-l's wife while she's going through one of her "delusions". One time she called my cell phone while I was at work. She was in a suburban train, and was seeing meat hooks hanging from the ceiling of the car - with naked human bodies hanging on them. She was really frightened, and didn't know what to do. I had to keep her on the phone while my boss contacted my in-laws, so that they could meet her at the end station and get her to her doctor. The alternative was calling the police and getting them to stop the train and take her off, which could have made matters worse, because of her KGB paranoia. The thing is: she knew enough to call and say that something was wrong, and that she couldn't deal with it.
She's delusional at times, but doesn't seem to present a danger to other people, and she is improving. We had a very long talk on Christmas Day. She usually has a really hard time during the holiday season, but not this year, and she actually was speculating whether she's going into menopause and perhaps the hormonal triggers aren't as strong.
Having witnessed stuff like this for the past 17 years, I feel extremely sorry for Andrea Yates. Whether she can be treated or not I just can't say. I don't feel she was accountable for her actions.
post #37 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
Andrea drowned all five children and then described what she did to the police. She knew the exact order in which she drowned them. She did not see meet hooks, or bodies hanging from anywhere. She did not think she was drowning aliens, lizzards, or kittens, she knew they were her five children. She knew what she was doing exactly. If you tell me that's delusional, well, then I am delusional every day of the week.
Allissa, How do you know what she saw/heard/ or felt during the murders? I centainly don't know, so I can't see how you are privy to this information. Did you not even read about her past medical history and see how psychotic she was? What do you think that her previous periods of psychosis just went away on their own. That's like saying you go to bed with heart disease or diabetes and suddenly you are cured the next day. Mental Illnesses are brain disorders, just as physical as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, etc
post #38 of 113
As I recall it, she felt she was communicating with God at the time. Wasn't that delusional?
post #39 of 113
Alissa, did you follow the case closely in the press, or were you privy to info we don't have? It seems like you are very set in your opinions and seem to know exactly what she experienced and thought. I'm wondering if this is based on your own feelings & ideas following the case, if you're a mental health professional, or if you have close info not accessible to the rest of us?
post #40 of 113
Oh wow, unless I had first hand knowledge of what Yates did, I cannot say what She was feeling or thinking or doing.

Recently, a woman near here drowned her baby in the bathtub - she called the police afterwards and said that she did not want her baby to live in a mean world.

She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and after intensive testing, the psychiatrists agreed and so did the judge - she was sentenced to the hospital until she is deemed not a danger to society - she was suffering post partum psychosis.
post #41 of 113
Good example Kellye!

BTW Tricia just caught up with you post re: your dislocated shoulder....OUCH, I've seen docs put the shoulder back in place, so I can commiserate with you. At least you can now say: "I don't do windows!"
post #42 of 113
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
Good example Kellye!

BTW Tricia just caught up with you post re: your dislocated shoulder....OUCH, I've seen docs put the shoulder back in place, so I can commiserate with you. At least you can now say: "I don't do windows!"
LOL, Barbara! This is usual for me - I apparently have a much higher pain threshold than most people, and can go for days or weeks with broken bones, etc., before seeking medical treatment.
post #43 of 113
Thread Starter 
I just find it interesting that you got so defensive that Barbara "doesn't know your background", insinuating that you have some sort of basis of this opinion on post partum psychosis, and yet even after being asked point blank what your background is multiple times you have yet to answer.

So, I'll ask again -

What background do you have in mental issues that gives you such a deep understanding of Andrea Yates' crimes that apparently the rest of the world lacks?

Or do you just *know* and cannot fathom there being any other answer besides your own?
post #44 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
Many people pray every day, asking God for this and that. Are they delusional?
Does communicating with God makes one delusional? Are millions of people delusional because they pray?
Yes, many people pray to God daily, but the vast majority do not have two way conversations and hear His voice. Unless Andrea had his cell phone number.
post #45 of 113
Unfortunately, I think few people, even mental health professionals, can fully understand the intricate workings of the human mind and what denotes whether Yates was insane or not. allissa, I agree, what news articles and other sources state make it sound like Yates was completely cognizant, but it really doesn't mean jack. The mother of a girl I work with feels 100% healthy and looks fantastic, but 3 weeks ago it was discovered that she has an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer. So even though she looks and feels fine, she is dying. Andrea Yates actions look cold, calculating, and as though she knew exactly what she was doing, yet we can't really look inside her brain and know what caused her to behave the way she did.
post #46 of 113
All I want to add is that the whole situation is sad.
Very very sad.
We will never know what went on in her mind when she killed her children, no matter how hard any opinion is expressed, either way, no one will ever know, and I really think it is best to leave it at that~
post #47 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
Well, to be fair, Andrea was talking to the Devil, not God.
More like talking to herself.

I don't know where I stand on the guilt or innocence of Andrea Yates. But I am glad to see that the rights of the accused are still intact, despite everything that is going on today.

Some people really have no business having kids. The problem is, there is some sort of stigma attached to not having kids, especially in certain groups and religions. It is like people think their life is not complete without having kids. This completely ignores the fact that some people really don't want and should not have kids. I get so much crap from people when I tell them that I don't plan on bearing children (mostly the say I am selfish for it). But I think it is wise to recognize that you don't like them, and would not be an ideal parent because of it -- rather than trying to fill the status quo.

But that is a whole other can of worms.
post #48 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
Do they call the police afterward and describe exactly what they did in detail?
Allissa, what did Andrea Yates say, exactly? "HI, this is Andrea Yates. I just killed all five of my kids. Come and arrest me now, all right? I live at 1234 Main Street, Anytown, USA. See you in a bit. I'll be in the kitchen making tea."

Did she say that?

Or, perhaps you have your information incorrect...

Maybe she said this instead....
This is a transcript of her call to 911....that's not her describing "exactly" what she did, is it?

And here's a bit of a history of Andrea Yates...not complete, but semi accurate.

post #49 of 113
I am not insinuating anything. As for my background, are 12 people on the jury qualified to decide if someone is insane or not? They ceirtanly are, and they are not required to have any special education in mental illness. I am not sure they are even required to have graduated high school. So, why are they quilifed, and I am not?
You are not as qualified as those jurors. They heard the evidence, they heard the expert testimony *(which is why this conviction has been overturned, btw...), and they base their opinions on an expert's word. So no, you are not as qualified as the jurors were. And they were misled.

I am ceirtanly more educated than many on the jury. Why all of the sudden I am required to have a mental health education to have an opinion on the subject?
You can have any opinion you choose to have, based in education or not. It's a free country, and you get that right. However, I have the same right to say that you don't have a background for the type of commentary you've been posting on this thread. Does that mean it's wrong? Not on it's face...but I do think you don't know enough about psychosis, brain disease, mental illness, and post partum issues to have an opinion I'd rely on. Sorry, but you asked...

Are you a mental health professional?
Nope. But I have spent years with untreated clinical depression, and have had years of recovery from it. I do understand the disrupted thought process that comes with brain disease. I lived it for years. And what I had is as comparable to Andrea Yates' diagnosis as a sneeze is to double pneumonia....very very very different, and needing far different care, yet they're both illnesses. You're healthy, claiming you understand what it's like to be ill.

Further, there is someone else here whose opinion you discount out of hand...she's had her own experience with dealing with disordered disrupted thought patterns. That disrespect is amazing to see...her experience is very valid, and is providing you a glimpse of what it's like...and yet you discount it. I find that sad.

Then how do you know she was insane?
Um, maybe because her Drs diagnosed her that way?

Why do you think people without mental health education qualified to have an opinion if they think she was insane, but I am not qualified to even have an opinion if I don't think she was insane?
Again, you're allowed to have an opinion, just like everyone else. Shutting your mind to others' opinions and experiences shows me that you have no interest in actually learning about brain disease...and that I find a great pity.

post #50 of 113
She had later described to the police exactly what she had done to the kids.
But it's not on the 911 call, like you claimed several places on this thread. She indeed confessed, but the phone call wasn't it. She didn't call the police and describe exactly what happened. That was your contention, not that she later confessed....

There was no break with reality. She did not think they were alien lizards. She knew they were her kids,
Breaking with reality has nothing to do with alien lizards, Allissa. People don't break with reality only by alien lizard recognition and actions to protect themselves from the vast alien lizard outbreak. There are many ways to break with reality.

she knew in which order she had killed them, she knew she had to run after her oldest son because he tried to get away, and she described how she dragged him back into the bathtub and drowned him. SHe was not hallucinating when she did it, because she knew exactly what she was doing-she was drowning her kids. That is not a person who is hallucinating and doesn't know what is going on, nope. Have you seen her police tapes? When she talks to the police, she shows no emotion, but she sounds pretty coherent
Quick story.

I had a 104.6 fever when I contracted chicken pox at 28. While waiting for the ambulance, I stepped into a cold shower as directed by the 911 operator. I clearly recall having a conversation with the monster that lived in my thumb. Clearly. I recall to this day what we discussed, how his cute lips moved on the pad of my thumb, and what he told me he wanted me to do (turns out he wanted to have dinner before the ambulance boys came...). I debated him for a while, and then the guys from the ambulance showed up. I introduced them to Mr. Greenie, and they took me to the hospital for help. 4 days later I woke up...but I clearly remember what happened in the shower, and read the ambulance report and the admission paper; all state I was hallucinatory.

You can remember what happens in a hallucination...and you can know what's going on and still have the hallucination.

And yes, I've seen the tapes. I've seen the bald patches, the scars, and the expression (or lack thereof.) I see an enormously ill woman when I look at those tapes.

post #51 of 113
The reason the jury may be more uniquely qualified is that they heard every bit of the testimony, instead of summaries published by the media and saw the defendant in person, rather than a media-released description. I imagine that they had a very difficult task to decide. It is clear that she did not commit these crimes for some sort of personal gain, i.e. to cash in on life insurance, nor did she attempt to hide or cover up the fact. That, in itself, seems to lend itself to the theory that she was not able to distinguish or control what she was doing at the time of the murders.

At any rate, I don't foresee her being released from custody. From what I have read, she is still considered quite ill.
post #52 of 113
Good grief.

I am not as quailifed as her jury? Well, sorry, my point is they are not mental health professionals, and many of them are not even educated, yet they are quilified to decide whether she is insane or not.
How do you know their education level? How do you know they're not mental health professionals, or have more exposure to mental health issues than you do? And their qualification comes from hearing all testimony, expert witnesses determination (one of which on whose testimony this case was overturned, btw...).

I've sat on several juries...have you?

And no, I wasn't in court, but then I am not actually deciding her fate in a courtroom, am I? I think I know enough about this case to post my opinion on the message board.
Right you are. You're neither in the courtroom, nor actually deciding her fate in one. Neither, btw, am I. You know enough about this case to post your opinion, and no-where in any of my posts will you see me say differently. I know enough about the case to post a different one, and so do others. If you want some respect for your position, how about showing some to those with more experience on the topic than you have?

If you are demanding some mental health credentials from me, why aren't you asking the same from people who think she is insane?
I haven't...nor have I asked it from others. But it's apparent by their posts that some people here have intense personal experience with brain disease, and for me that makes their opinion a tad more valid than someone who hasn't that experience.

It's the same with people like Hissy. She has far more experience with cats than I do. While I know a bit about them, her experience far exceeds mine in every aspect of feline life. Therefore, I tend to listen to her when she posts an opinion...because I know her history is deeper and her experience wider than me.

Why aren't you demanding their credentials, or is their opinion the "right one", even though they also probably have no deep understanding on how brain works.
I often believe even the "experts" don't have a "deep understanding" of how the brain works. I do believe that people sharing experiences as they've been shared here is not an easy thing, and should not be discounted out of hand. If someone has more experience than me in a subject, I *do* tend to sit back and listen. That's how I stay alive skydiving, as a matter of fact. It has nothing to do with an opinion being "right" or "wrong." It has everything to do with respect, and the fact that they're sharing their heart.

Are you telling me I can't express my opinion that she is not insane on a message board because I am not a mental health professional?
Please point out to me where I ever said you shouldn't state your opinion? Irrespective of if you are or are not a mental health professional, I've never said that.

Well, hello, I didn't think that was required. Why am I supposed to change my mind about it-you are obviously not willing to change yours either, and I am not demanding you do.
Well, hello yourself!

I'm not demanding anything of you. That would be pointless. I am asking that you consider something you may not have, and not dismiss things out of hand because you don't like it. My "unwillingness" to change my opinion is tempered by my willingness to listen and consider opposing views. Often I am surprised with well articulated positions considering things I hadn't. And I look at those, consider them, research if necessary, and either return to my original opinion, or change it as I see fit to accommodate a new perspective.

It's pretty simple that way. I don't know everything - I don't even know a little bit, in the grand scheme of things. And so, because I know what I don't know, I get to learn a bit about things all the time. And that's cool.

post #53 of 113
I wish I could have said it as well, Michele! Thanks.
post #54 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
And they found her guilty-they did not think she was insane.
I dont think the false testimony by the "witness" helped at all.
post #55 of 113
Many people have been wrongly convicted of crimes. While this case is different as she admitted to the crimes, she was only convicted in the context of her sanity or insanity. Juries can be wrong. Did you Allissa bother to read the links above as to what happened or what was said during the 911 call? Did you read the short history of her life and psychotic, delusional features? I don't know how much of her past was admissable in court, so maybe the jury did not have all the facts. I hope this time around they can have medical experts that can explain psychosis better than they did in the original trial.
post #56 of 113
You obviously do not understand what I said....perhaps the jury was not given all the facts of her history. And like I said juries can be wrong. This has is proved many times in the US, when convictions are overturned. And last but not least juries can be made up of stupid and/ or ignorant people. No one gets an IQ test prior to serving on a jury, not that that would prove intelligence. I believe one of the reasons she was found sane, therfore guilty, is that her trial was in The Bible belt, where many people put God before scientific/empirical evidence.
post #57 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
Well, there you go. Forget about complicated brain chemistry or how the brain works. All that decides whether she was insane or sane apparenty is-did she watched Law and Order. That's critical to whether she was insane or sane. Well, I know one thing-she inspired others to do what she did.
Mothers and Fathers have been known to kill their offspring for as long as the Earth was created and inhabited by man. Drowning, strangling, shooting, beating to death etc, have been commom MOs. I don't think Andrea inspired or will inspire anyone to drown/kill their child. You make it seem like potential murderers have posters of Andrea adorning their walls like some rock star...oy vey!
post #58 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
Have you heard of Deanna Laney? That's another Texas woman who killed her two children by smashing their heads with rocks and severely injured the third?
THis woman specifically talked about Andrea Yates when asked why she killed her children. So, when I say Andrea inspired others, I really do mean it.
And I really mean OY VEY!!! Their must be something in the drinking water in Texas...LOL, I'll stay in NYC!
post #59 of 113
Originally Posted by allissa
So, the jury is wrong, but you on the message board who think she is insane are right? Hello, you know less about her history than the jury do, why do you think you are right?
Okay, since you asked here are my credentials:

1) 25 years experience as a nurse on a neurological unit, with extensive work on psych units.

2) Observing dozens upon dozens of patients hallucinating or experiencing delusions. These hallucinations could be brought on by many things, brain disorder, illicit drugs, or prescribed medications, sedatives, narcotic analgesics, steriods, etc.

3) Having a diagnosis of a brain disorder myself, Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder can be with or without psychosis. I have been fighting this illness for over 10 years. And I have witnessed numerous problems when people go off their prescribed meds, such as Andrea Yates. As per the article in this thread she seemed to be doing well on haldol (an ANTI-PSYCHOTIC) but went off her meds, when her ignorant husband wanted to procreate yet again.

4) Because of my personal interest and professional interest I keep abreast of all the new findings/information on brain disorders, reading professional articles and journals (not just stuff anyone's website). Though I am not a doctor, I speak with many docs who are experts in psychiatry and attend psych conferences when I can, and money allows.

5) I would probably have been denied serving on this jury because I knew too much. In the same way lawyers avoid like the plague medical professionals in malpractice cases.
post #60 of 113
Water? Nah, I think it's the heat, humidity, and all of these @#$%!#* mosquitoes.

A comparison to a case of clearly premeditated murder comes to mind now - A woman (can't remember her name, was it Susan Smith?) who drowned her kids by strapping them in a car & pushing the car into a body of water...that one was obviously premeditated murder, because it turned out that she wanted to be kid-free for the sake of her boyfriend.

To me (admittedly a simple uneducated bystander), that case is a far cry from the case of Mrs. Yates & her children. She was quite obviously out of it throughout the trial, while Ms Smith just seemed to feel sorry for herself.

(please tell me that one didn't happen in Texas too - eek!)
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