Here's the deal.
Andrea Yates is sick. She has a mental disorder. She had attempted suicide numerous times. The last time she was treated for her depression she was shown substance abuse videos because her insurance company wouldn't cover anymore depressive therapies.
Her last attempt of suicide forced her to admit to her doctor that "she had to kill herself before she hurt someone else."
Now here's something about Texas state law. You only have two options when your using the insanity plea- you either have to plead "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity" or "Guilty."
There is NO option to plead "Guilty By Reason of Insanity." Hence, making the defense of Yates incredibly difficult because, yeah, she said she knew it was wrong, but she also thought that she had Satan inside of her and that she had poisoned her children- which, in her mind, was even more wrong to raise children in an "unGodly manner." This, to me, clearly tells you that the woman is insane.
Here's the part that sucks:
Also according to Texas law, you cannot tell the jury what will happen to the defendant if s/he is aquitted of Capital Murder after the defendant has pled "Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity." If the jury finds that the defendant is "Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity," then the defendant is required to undergo psychiatric evaluation and is put into treatment by the state courts and is not let out unless the Judge that oversees the case and a new jury (sort of an informal jury) decide that it's appropriate.
Now, since the jury has found her Guilty of Capital Murder these are her options:
A) To be put to death by Lethal Injection
B) To go into the State Prison system for life and not receive the needed psychiatric treatment (Texas ranks 48th in mental health care for individuals in the criminal justice system)
C) To get off of the medication that she is on now so that she'll be so incredibly sick and delusional that it would be unconstitutional to put her to death. (This is actually happening to one guy that's on death row for shooting a cop during a paranoia episode. He's so completely out of it that he doesn't even know that he's human.)
And I'm just incredibly angry. I am truly truly pissed off. Because Andrea Yates has already been given a death sentence with this verdict. A majority of women that are sent into the Texas prison system with the same mental illnesses that Yates usually commit suicide. At this moment, I can hear people say, "Good- let her kill herself if that's what she really wants to do."
But here's the deal, my peeps. That's just another needless death in the count of people committing suicide as a direct result of a mental illness. Yes, I understand that her 5 children are dead because of her. Yes, I do agree that she is guilty of their murders. But I do not agree that by giving this woman the death sentence or jailing her for the rest of her life with limited psychiatric care is going to justify anything. What's worse is that it only adds to the incredible amount of ignorance that is in the world about mental illness. It'll give more power to the machine that tells society that people with mental illness can control their actions. It is proven scientific fact that that is not the case.
Brain disorders are chemical and physical disorders. Just like diabetes. Just like cancer. Just like AIDs. It is not the persons choice to have a mental illnees. It is not the person's choice to be labled "crazy." The person is not given any choice, especially in American society, because America is just ignorant when it comes to mental illness.
Would you tell a person with cancer to "get over it?" I can't tell you how many times I've heard stories about individuals being told that "They just need to snap out of their depression and everything will be okay." It's phrases like that that lead people to suicide.
It's also attitudes like Mr. Yate's :"I just fiugred that she'd get her shot and she'll be all right again."
Jebus H. Christ.
How can you be a NASA engineer and not understand that your wife, who's already been hospitalized for suicide numerous times, is not going to recover from a psychosis after receiving a shot? (Oh, yeah... when you're living in a society that chooses not to understand what is unknown.. aka...Texas.)
The Russell Yate's thing is another rant for another time. I feel incredibly sorry for the fellow and he has my sympathy. However, I feel that he, too, has been punished for his actions. The only difference is that his wife gave him his punishment instead of a Texas jury.
So what I'm trying to get at, people, is that America needs to fucking wake up and get a clue about what exactly mental illness entails. Learn about the difference between Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective disorder. Find out what the distinguishing factors are between depression and manic depression. (And you'll get bonus points if you can also figure out the difference between Bi-Polar I, II, and III.) Some of us kind of wiped the sleep out of our eyes when Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was all over the news after 9/11. But that's just the tip of the cake, baby. There's an entire SLEW of mental illnesses that are out there.
Learn. Wake Up. Take care. Take action.
I am so pissed off right now I can't even tell you.
Identical Twins. The one on the left is the twin without Schizophrenia. The one on the right has Schizophrenia. It's amazing what a little space difference in the brain can do.
PS. What do you think? I wanna know, really, becaue I can't imagine that I'm the only one pissed off out here. Sign the guestbook or whatever.