Case Analysis : Andrea Yates Trial

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Abstract On June 20, 2001, Andrea Yates committed one of the evil act in society. She drowned her five children after claiming that a voice told her to do it. Andrea Yates defense attorney enters a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. The conviction in 2001 was overturned on appeal. First Court of Appeals reverses Yates capital murder conviction and remands it to trial court and found her guilty by reason of insanity in 2006. This paper will relate the facts of the trial and the case study, argument against and for the verdict. The psychological assessments and how they affected the criminal proceeding and verdict. CASE STUDY OF A CRIMINAL OFFENDER During the criminal proceeding of the Andrea trial there were several mental health professionals that were call by the defense to testify in the first trial, including several of her treating psychiatrist. In the Yates trial, both defense and prosecution experts agreed on three issues, Yates suffered from a mental disease, she knew that her conduct was against the law and that a subjective moral wrongfulness issue had to be considered (Resnick P,2007). In the Yates case, the legal test in Texas was: “at the time of the conduct charged, the person, because of severe mental disease or defect, did not know that her conduct was wrong, (Texas Penal Code § 8.01.). Yates had a long history of mental illness and prior to the death of her children she twice attempted suicide, was diagnosed with recurrent postpartum depression
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