posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 01:59 PM
The appellate court sent the case back to the trial court for a new trial.
In general: there is no statute of limitations on a prosecution for murder; each murder victim is a separate and distinct charge; so long as there are
no double jeopardy issues, the other two cases can be initiated at any time. But, if she is convicted and sent to a mental institution for life,
what's the point of going through the trial process for all 5?
Apparently, no one, not even she, contends that she did not kill her children. The only real issue is whether she was insane or criminally
I have a very bright and good-hearted friend who gave birth to her first child four years ago. There was never a hint of any mental health issues.
But she suffered from a tough bout of post-partum depression and was placed in the psychiatric ward of a local hospital for over a month and took
about a year to fully recover with the help of therapy and medication. She never harmed anyone but was expressing suicidal thoughts and schizophrenic
episodes. So, I don't doubt that Andrea Yates may genuinely have been insane.
There appears to be no issue but that the Yates prosecutor's expert witness gave false testimony. The prosecutor is now saying it was just a mistake
and not an intentional falsehood? What? How could the expert possibly have been mistaken about something like that. Maybe there's more to the
story than we know at this point. But prosecutors have been known to coach their witnesses to lie in order to get the result they want in a case.
I'm not saying this prosecutor did that, just that it is widely known to have occurred far too often. This case is highly suspicious.
What does it matter whether the expert's false testimony was given "by mistake" (which I highly doubt), or intentionally? It was false either way
and was clearly intended to and did weaken Yates' defense of insanity. It worked!
I think the appellate court is absolutely correct in ruling as it did. There appears to be no issue but that the expert's testimony was false and
that the TV episode he cited never existed. The appellate court said:
“We conclude that there is a reasonable likelihood that Dr. Dietz’s false testimony could have affected the judgment of the jury,” the court said in
its ruling. “We further conclude that Dr. Dietz’s false testimony affected the substantial rights of appellant.”
We cannot allow prosecutors and their witnesses get away with gaining convictions based on false testimony, whether by mistake or intention. If
either the prosecutor or the expert witness are culpable of misconduct, their heads should role. After all, they are now directly responsible for
creating the necessity of a 2nd trial and of wasting the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars that were spent on the first trial. Everyone in
that prosecutor's office who had a part in this needs to be sanctioned appropriately.
To me, a more interesting and deeply sad aspect of this case is that five children were drown, including some who were apparently aware that mom was
killing their siblings. But each none-the-less went in and allowed themselves to be killed like sheep going to slaughter when they could have run
away and saved themselves. I haven't read all the facts of what happened on that tragic day. This is my impression based on what I have read and
The depth of an innocent child's unconscious blind trust in a parent is truly amazing. My heart aches not only for the children but their mother as
well. Post-partum depression is not to be taken lightly, as a number of recent highly publicized cases have shown.
[edit on 6-1-2005 by dubiousone]
[edit on 6-1-2005 by dubiousone]