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Sooooo glad I'm not on this jury - Page 2

post #31 of 104
I didn't know we all had labels of "nice" or "bad" here...I guess I just thought we all had a right to express our opinions, and I am not saying she should be put to death, it is not my place, thank God, to judge her, I am just saying that she should get whatever punishment that she deserves, and not just a slap on the hands because she was mentally ill at the time.
post #32 of 104
I would direct your attention to a case in your own backyard,so to speak. A NS man was accused of murdering his wife,tried,convicted and sent to prison. Just this week he was unconditionally released because the "evidence" given at his original trial by "experts" was faulty at best. There was no case in fact. Now he has to live with not only having lost years from his family but the stares of those who will never free him.

And I shouldn't have to remind you of the Donald Marshall case. A young Indian man falsely convicted of murder by incompetent police and "experts". He too lost most of his youth sitting in prison for a crime committed by another.

The death penalty would have written both these innocents off,no chance to find the mistake. Maybe that's ok with some here,but it bothers the hell out of me.

As for this particular woman..perhaps if they had been my family I would kill her in my grief,but I would hate myself for it afterwards.
You have never seen the life light flickering out of someone's eyes. If you are atall sane that is the saddest thing there is...the plea for life. Thank God I saw that in time...

Melissa,you once told me you were learning that things are not always black and white...listen to yourself.
post #33 of 104
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure how I feel about Andrea Yates. My mind is still not made up, that's why I find all this back and forth so fascinating. I really think that if I had kids, my feelings would probably be more cut and dried than they are. I've noticed that the people who feel the strongly about this (as far as her being punished) are the ones that have children. Like Kezzer, Melissa, Debby (got a precious bundle on the way) and Daniela. Since I don't have any, it's hard to put myself in that parent role.

KF, I was a little confused by your examples, because in the top 2, both people where innocent (that's what I inferred anyway) of the crimes they were accused of, and there's no doubt about Andreas guilt, just if she's responsible for her actions or not. Maybe I'm completely missing something, but I don't see how they stories are comparable. She's definitly killed those children, the jury just has to decide if she was in her right mind or not. She's going to lose years of her life, the question is will it be in a mental hospital or a prison. Her fate now lays in 12 peoples hands. Fair or not, that's our justice system and as flawed as it is, I'll still take it over what passes for justice in other countries.

I understand peoples frustration and anger. I understand the fact that Julieb can relate to the condition that this lady may have been suffering from, as well as Kezzer, Melissa, or any other parents horror and anger. It's all about perspective. We are all looking at this from a different angle.
post #34 of 104
You and I have already had one misunderstanding,so let's not have another.

I just find it a bit incongruous that some of the folks who are among the kindest,most caring of us with their cats and kids so consistantly cry "Death Sentence" when one of these cases comes up. Just kind of sad.

I have no lasting ill feeling for anyone here,even those who have chosen to personally attack me and Barb. There is a basic goodness in everyone in this site,otherwise we wouldn't be so involved in our "Kiddens" or enjoy them so much. Too bad that a few apparently can't extend that to their own species.

BTW..I consider you to be one of the all-round "good" folks. Your baby is gonna be blessed with a fine Mom.
post #35 of 104
For interjecting her own personal story to shed light on what many here ( I believe) have a hard time swallowing. That someone who is mentally ill can have the capacity to plan such a murder of such innocent children and then claim to be temporarily insane. Most people when they think of mentally ill, they get the images painted by hollywood and the media, and perhaps they forget that a broken brain simply doesn't work correctly, misfiring and causing all sorts of havoc for the victim. So to try and fathom how someone who is so broken can do this is hard to accept.

Having had a brain injury myself, I know full well what not being able to function correctly means. But I am in no way comparing what happened to me to what has happened to Julie. I have a dear friend who is now suffering from inoperable brain tumors and if she had never been hit on the head in gym she would of probably never known she had this, yet it was the size of a cauliflower!

I refuse to attack anyone anymore about how they believe because it shows a lack of understanding on my part to seeing how they view the world. I haven't participated in this thread since my initial burst, because Julie's post set me back on my heels and I have been thinking about the mental issue at hand. I am not a mom, like many of the woman here, and I see these good moms speak out in anger over what this woman did, because they can't understand it. Perhaps in the discussion to come, within the anger and the confusion, understanding will come because of people like Julie who speak from personal experience and who came back after apparently being deleted the first time, to refine her message and make it less angry. Again, the anger comes because of the innocence of children lost and the inability of loving and caring parents to accept this type of crime.

As far as good people and bad people, that is also in the minds of folks as they have to determine if Andrea Yates is a bad person, or if she really is mentally insane. Here in the PNW we just had a man drown his wife and his 3 darling children in the bay. He apparently did this at different places, and it has been determined that the children were alive prior to their drowning, I wonder what went through their minds as they watched the man they trusted and called Daddy kill their mother and their siblings? Now it is to be determined if this man was temporarily insane as well.
post #36 of 104
Kittyfoot...thank you for saying I will be a good mom, I wasn't trying to have a misunderstanding with you, I just didn't understand the "nice" and "bad" people comment you made. But I think you cleared that up for me.

Hissy...I too appreicated Julieb's post...it does make one see things in a different light. Mental illness has so many sides to it, and it is hard to say when someone knew what they were doing or not. I still think she deserves to be punished though, but I am not sure about death, that may be too harsh if she really had no clue of what she was doing, but somehow I think she did know what she was doing was wrong. But like I said, I am glad I do not have to judge her...that would be a horrible job.
post #37 of 104
Then for her to have to live with the knowledge she killed all her babies.
post #38 of 104
How the heck did I become council for the defence here...:LOL:

Anyhow..I'll try to explain. The two examples I used were both as guilty in people's minds as this woman is. To some they always will be. They were both convicted by shoddy police work,shoddy evidence and incompetent courts. The death penalty would have negated any chance at all for their innocence to be proven.

In both instances everyone was convinced of their guilt. The "evidence" said so,the "experts" said so,the "courts" said so,the "media" said so. Guess what?? Everybody was WRONG!!!!

I'm not suggesting she be freed. Indeed,if her present state of mind is ever cured and the realization of what she's done strikes home,she may wish she were dead.

The point is that when judging by "media" we must bear in mind that you can't always trust their "facts". Are you sure that the truth is there because the "authorities" swear it is? They did so in the examples above. I see by the article included in this thread a woman who was very openly disturbed..everyone's saying "oh,we saw it for years." Yet nobody apparently thought to do anything..pretend everything's fine.

Now let's just suppose...just for sake of argument. If someone else actually did this thing,how hard would it be do you think to convince this poor sick woman that she had done it? What if they execute her and a couple years down the road the husband confesses? Do we shrug her death off with an OOOPS,too bad??

It's the Death Penalty I'm against here...that's all.

Now I gotta go for a bit,so I'll have to come back later. See ya folks.
post #39 of 104
I have not considered weather people on this board are "good" or "bad," but I do consider myself a good person overall, and I also believe in the death penalty. In this case, I believe that if Andrea Yates is determined to have been sane when she committed this act, then she deserves the death penalty. And here in Texas, that's what she'd probably get. However, if she is proven insane at the time, I think she deserves treatment and once she's better, she needs to go to prison for the rest of her life. I don't see how someone who's committed this type of crime, regardless of the circumstances, should be allowed to have the freedom to come and go at will and lead a otherwise normal life. There has to be some repercusions of her actions.
post #40 of 104
I keep hearing people say "how could she not know what she was doing." She knew what she was doing, but her psychosis was telling her that she needed to do it and that it was the right thing for them. Think of it this way; her brain and mind were so messed up that she was convinced that she was a bad mother and that her children were going to have a terrible life and be terrible people because of her. From what I understand she was basically thinking "Death is their only savior and because this is all my fault I owe it to them to save them from the horrible life they have to face." Through medical experts, witnesses, and other evidence this is what the attorneys have to prove. Even if they can prove this without a reasonable doubt the jury may choose to not see this and convict her. This is why the jury screening process was so long. They had to make sure they picked people who did not have a firm position on the incident and were open to insanity as a possible reason. Basically people who believe insanity can be a defense and believe in the death penalty.

There is also no way that even is she is declared insane, once she is better she will not go to prison - that's not how the legal system works.
post #41 of 104
Well, as far as people being on sides here on this board, that seems to have dissapated lately, which is a good thing. But whether it has or not, that has absolutely no bearing on the topic of this thread.

I think its wonderful that we all come from a different viewpoint on this, thats what makes life so interesting. As a parent I find very little, if any, compassion for this woman in me. I've always said if anyone ever dared to hurt my kids they would never survive to see a courtroom, and it is the deep love I have for my children that causes me to feel this way.

I don't know every fact of this case, but what I have read leads me to believe that she knew exactly what she was doing when she did it. IF that is the case, in my eyes she deserves the same grace and mercy she showed her own children- none. And also, IF that is the case, I'm really glad she lives in the State she does.
post #42 of 104
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Kittyfoot
The point is that when judging by "media" we must bear in mind that you can't always trust their "facts". Are you sure that the truth is there because the "authorities" swear it is? They did so in the examples above. I see by the article included in this thread a woman who was very openly disturbed..everyone's saying "oh,we saw it for years." Yet nobody apparently thought to do anything..pretend everything's fine.

Now let's just suppose...just for sake of argument. If someone else actually did this thing,how hard would it be do you think to convince this poor sick woman that she had done it? What if they execute her and a couple years down the road the husband confesses? Do we shrug her death off with an OOOPS,too bad??
Okay, now I'm confused. Are you saying that you're not sure she did it? I'm not naive enough to believe everything I hear or read, but I do believe that she did this, not the husband. And I think most people in this thread do as well. It seems easy enough to prove if he was at work or not.

My point is, that she is guilty of killing her children (and I think that is a safe assumption to make, and one that all of us here discussing this case has made) but the dilemma hinges on if she was sane when she did it. And because of that, no matter what the outcome is, she should never walk freely amoung us, or enjoy the life that she took from her kids. The whole debate is, whether or not she'll spend her time in prison or a hospital. I personally haven't developed my opinion on that matter yet.

I can sit back and understand both sides of the coin. I can understand where the anger and lack of compassion come in from parents, and I can understand where others have sympathy for what Andrea was going through and that her actions weren't her own, and don't think she deserves to die. I think that people who have been there (where Andrea was) or have children have a different viewpoint from me, because I've experienced neither of the above. And because I haven't, it's easier for me to have a more non-commital view on this, because it doesn't hit so close to home.

I didn't mean to make you the acting defense team for Andrea Yates, I just didn't recognize the parallel between the innocent men and AY. Yes, she will have to live with people thinking she killed her kids, but she did kill her kids, yes her life has been ruined by this, but she did that, nobody else. Add it to the ever growing list of lives ruined by this atrocious act.

As far as her not being guilty of killing her children, sane or not, I don't think that's an issue here, but we can debate that as well.
post #43 of 104
Interesting discussion this..

Now let me start by making one thing Crystal clear. I am not proposing no punishment here. I am against one thing...state imposed death penalty..no more,no less. If you want to hand the "aggrivated party",in this case the husband,a gun and say "You go ahead and shoot her if you like,BUT if she turns out to be wrongly convicted your life is then forfeit."...then I'll go along with you...not before. Or substitute the judge,DA or whomever...just so someone has to bear responsibility for the death of an innocent person. No just shrugging it off as an "Oh Well".

Is this woman guilty? I honestly don't know. See,like you folks, all I know about it is what has been reported in the papers and in this thread. I'm not willing to take another's life on that basis. Having children or not has absoloutely no bearing on that.

Now everyone dismissed my little scenario out of hand. I'm glad you all have such faith in the police department. They arrive to find an obviously distraught woman who gives them a full confession and BOY the evidence sure seems to support it. I wonder how much effort they REALLY put into looking for anyone else? Or did they just wrap up an apparently neat little package and move on? That's what happened in both cases I cited earlier.

Hissy put it well..did she or didn't she know what she was doing?? Was she rational? Firstly,nobody sane kills 5 people,let alone her own children. Now,if we accept that fact,plus the testimony that was quoted earlier in the thread that she was quite obviously out of her mind for months;why then is it NOT plausable that some other member of the family killed those kids and convinced this demented woman that she had done it?? In her state she would have totally believed it. She would be the perfect patsy for this crime because she would believe it to be true. Think about this...really think about this.

Maybe,just maybe now,in a few months or years of treatment she could stand up and say "Wait a minute..I DIDN'T do this."

With a mental institution or jail you would have the chance to say "OMG..we're so sorry...let us try to make amends". Of course it's easier just to kill her and forget about it. Is that what you want?
post #44 of 104
Thread Starter 
I have to believe that the people being payed to defend her are investigating every avenue of proving her innocence. If for no other reason than, 'man it would make my career if i could prove that someone else murdered those kids'. People live for career defining moments such as those. Everyone wants to be the star, to be the hero especially when it's against all odds, such as this case. The higher the evidence is stacked against her, the more fame and glory there is to prove that she didn't kill those kids. If someone were able to prove that someone else did it, they would be instantly famous. So I think that avenue would be explored, if not in the interest of saving her life, then for selfish reasons.

I have stated in all of my posts the same thing Mary Anne did, that the question was wether or not she could be help responsible for her actions, and that answer would dictate where she ends up.
post #45 of 104
I just want to throw in an analogy to try to help people see how psychosis could have allowed this woman to do such a thing......

Think about your gender. My bet is that each of you is extremely convinced that you are either a man or a woman. Now...what would happen if your partner, parents, neighbors, and even your psychiatrist (if you have one) told you that you are really the opposite sex. Now...really think about this....would you believe them? You KNOW what your sex is and even though these other people are telling you it is wrong, you KNOW the truth.

Think of how absolutely certain you are about your gender.

A psychotic person is just as certain about their delisions as you are about your gender. So, just because everyone around this woman was telling her that her kids were fine and that they were having a good life, she believed (just as strongly as you believe you are your sex) that the children were suffering so desperately that they needed to die. So, in her psychotic thinking, she was saving her kids by drowning them. Bizarre? You bet! Stupid and unbelievable? You bet. But, she believed it to her core just like you believe you are the sex you are down to your core. To try to convince her that she was wrong would work just as well as me telling you that you really are the opposite sex.

So, I have no problem finding her guilty but mentally ill. I do not think she should be put to death or hurt in any way. Once her thinking clears (and once her jerk of a husband stops knocking her up) she will be in agony because she will understand that she did not save her children after all. She will suffer until she dies. No need for us to add to that suffering.
post #46 of 104
Julie talked about what I had written in the last thread about this case. Below is the quote from before:

I am speaking here not as lotsocats, but as Dr. Duncan, the chair of a university Psychology department, college professor, and clinical psychologist.

With psychosis, the brain has become seriously injured for whatever reason (I could go into the reasons and the type of damage to the brain if anyone wants this information). Because of the problems with the brain, the person can no longer think and process information the way "normal" people do. So, the psychotic person might honestly believe with all of their heart and mind that their children are the devil or that the children should die in order to be saved or some such bizarre thing. You could show them all of the evidence in the world that their belief is not
true, but because of the problem with their brain, they cannot change their mind.

Thus, if she truly has Post-Partum Psychosis, because of the changes in her brain that were
likely caused in part by the pregnancies, she is (or was at the time) physically incapable of
knowing that the murders were not the best thing to do for her kids.

Think of it this way....to ask a psychotic person to think in a rational way and to behave in a
rational way is the same as asking a person with no legs to run a marathon. -- Most psychotic
people respond fairly well to medications which help straighten out their thinking, just like most
amputees can use prostheses to walk. BUT, there are some psychotic individuals who do not get better with medication (just like some amputees can't use the false legs). Apparently, she was one of those folks who does not get better with medications.

So.....do I think she was guilty of murdering her children? You bet! Do I think she was "insane"
at the time? You bet! Do I think she should be put to death? Absolutely not! Instead, I think she
needs to be under intensive psychiatric care until they can find a treatment that will clear her
thinking. After that.....hmmmmm, I'm not sure what I would do; but I certainly would not kill her
because she was physically incapable of thinking rationally at the time she killed the kids!

Okay...I'll step out from behind the podium. As lotsocats (rather than as Dr.D), I think someone
needs to punish her husband....clearly he could see how sick she was, yet he kept getting her
pregnant! What an idiot! While I know that it takes two to tango, he had to have seen that she
got worse with every pregnancy, especially since the MD told them not to get pregnant again. So, I hold him partically responsible, not only for helping her get pregnant (which made her even more sick), but for leaving the kids with her 24 hours a day despite knowing what a huge psychological mess she was!
post #47 of 104
WHy is it so hard to understand what Kittyfoot is saying???? We dont know what this lady was thinking, only what we read in the newspapers. Has this lady killed anyone besides her own children? Is there a past history of murder? No. This was post-pardom depression plain and simple!! She needs help, not the electric chair. People are so judgemental and ignorant sometimes, so frozen into their thoughts of right and wrong, when these are only their thoughts, their experiences. Learn to become more empathetic, thats my advice to you who dont understand what Kittyfoot is saying.
post #48 of 104
Couldn't help to come by and read this Thread...very interesting, but since I personally don't believe in the death penalty...I would rather see her in prison for life. Big deal if tax dollars are spent on her. Look at all the crap that tax dollars are spent on each year and then tell me what's more insane...let's see...the mating cycle of the grasshopper...Yeah, that's really important. :LOL:

Last time I checked an eye for an eye went out centuries ago.

post #49 of 104
Been doing some reading about this woman, and you are right, she was ill and her husband was aware of it. I read that she had been pulling her hair out in chunks, walking about in circles for about 30 minutes, and several times he found her sitting on the edge of a full tub of water not in it. Her only explaination is that "she might need it someday." Some psychotic people can walk around and appear to be normal, until a breaking point arrives (am I right?) There seems to be a breaking point of the fact that he wanted another child (if what I read was reported correctly) which might have caused her to snap. One of the problems as I see it, is with all the closures of the mental institutions around the United States in the past 10 years, there may not be the right facility to help her out there anymore. It would be great if there were, but her family will have to foot the bill for an expensive treatment program and if she is confined to prison would she be able to get these drugs she needs to stabilize her? It is all such a mess, and until the trial really starts no one is going to really know the whole story and we can all speculate and get angry and throw things at each other and not accomplish much except the ability to have our say. Thank you for putting in your learned opinion, it has opened my eyes a little further on this matter.
post #50 of 104
I understand perfectly well what KF is saying. However, just because I understand what someone is saying doesn't mean I have to agree with them.

Just because AY has not killed anyone but her own children does not mean anything to me. Just because there's no past history of murder does not get her off. What I have seen so far (and of course the only source is the press) is that she was suffering from Post Partum Depression, maybe even psychosis. However, I don't know if I agree that this is enough reason to let someone get off scott free with murdering 5 innocent children.

I still say, if she's proven innocent due to insanity, treat her, and then incarerate her when she's "healed." If she's proven guilty, she deserves the death penalty. I think there would be a great wrong done to these innocent children if the person that murdered them gets treated and released.
post #51 of 104

Isn't that a speculation that she would be treated and released??? I for one don't know of anyone (ie..Charlie Manson) that has been proven insane and guilty of a heinous crime; released.

I couldn't pull that lever, stick her with the blue juice, or whatever means they do to kill someone...could you do it? The death penalty (to me) is like playing God...I'm not God, I could never do
that to a person. My worst fear would be to live the remainder of my life in prison if I were her; living with those memories would be the most severest of punishments.

post #52 of 104
Very well said Dawn

From what I see there are a few things we all seem to be on the same page with..the fact that she IS mentally ill, and that she needs to be held accountable for what she did to some capacity. The difference is what we believe should be done if she is found guilty. I think we all have our reasons for our beliefs and I'll stand by mine as I'm sure you all will with yours. In the end its up to the jury, but regarless I'm relatively sure this woman will never taste freedom again, thank goodness.
post #53 of 104
Cat - If I was on the jury (and thank God I'm not), I would have to be 100% convinced that she would not be released after treatment. If you could guarantee me that, then I agree that treatment is best. I don't think she should get the death penalty if it's proven that she was insane. However, I do agree with the death penalty. I don't think I could do it myself though. I do have to agree with you there.
post #54 of 104
:laughing2 :laughing2 Yeah...very well said! hahaha!
post #55 of 104
Ooops, I'll have to retract that, I misread your statement...I don't agree with the death penalty, but I do agree that I couldn't kill anyone. As far as what Melissa said, I do agree that she shouldn't be released. To my knowledge, there's no way to predict what she's capable of doing, not to mention I do think she should be punished for what she did. It's really hard for me to be judgemental like that, but if someone did that to my Mom...I'd want to kill them, but then again...I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing that I had a part in that too...

Kinda weird, but I figure they'll have their pay day...I do believe in that!
post #56 of 104
I can understand where you are coming from. I remember feeling the same when Susan Clark drowned her babies in that lake, when she drove her car into the lake with them strapped in. I remember not being able to watch the trial because all I could think of were those poor babies being drowned. I believe she was found sane and was sent to prison for life. I do remember how she made up that story about abuction and how the man had a gun and she never saw the babies after that. How could she sleep at night knowing what she did? Like you, I am glad I am not on the jury. I don't think I would want to have to decide if this woman was legally sane or not. Regardless of what is decided, 5 lives are gone forever.
post #57 of 104
I opened the on-line version of the Globe and Mail, a Canada Wide daily newspaper and as I scrolled down the headlines there's a story that is eerily similar to our discussion here. The article won't download so I'll just post the addy and you can see for yourselves.

Truly wierd!!!!
post #58 of 104
I have to hand it to ya...that's a pretty interesting find there; but then again...you keep yourself so well informed.

post #59 of 104
Legally insane is not necessarily the same as medically insane. In order to be declared legally insane in Texas, the jury must believe the perpetrator did not understand that what they were doing was wrong.

Even though Andrea Yates's defense is expected to make that claim (since there is a gag order, it is thus far only speculation) the fact that she immediately called the police and also told them that she deserves to go to hell for what she did may make her "legally insane" defense fail.
post #60 of 104
Thread Starter 
to everyone who contributed/contributes to this thread. I really, really love these discussions and hearing all the alternate views. I'm so glad we don't all agree, because this thread wouldn't be very interesting! There have been so many good points brought up. Lots and lots of food for thought.

These kinds of threads are my favorite, especially when we have differing viewpoints. I'm glad that we have so many members who aren't afraid to throw out an opinion that's different, and best of all nobodies toes got stepped on!
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