Case Analysis of Andrea Yates Essays

1374 Words Oct 27th, 2012 6 Pages
Nathan Merrill XXJUN2012
PS208

Case Analysis of Andrea Yates

After close review and careful analysis of the case of Andrea Yates and the circumstances which led to the drowning death and murder of her five children, I first would like to state my personal opinion on the conclusion of the case which was the majority consensus at the time of her trial and sentencing. She was guilty of a horrible murder and although certainly had mental problems, which is apparent by her actions that most completely rational thinking human being and mother would be incapable of committing, and expertly
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The Yates case now has become a symbol of the influence that expert witnesses hold in trials in our country each day, and a test of how psychiatrists' opinions are used in court.The standards judges use in deciding whether to admit psychiatric opinions in court are less precise than those used to allow testimony about scientific evidence that is more obviously measurable, such as DNA or fingerprints.
George Parnham, who was Yates' lead attorney, said the defense hopes to raise doubts about Dietz's analysis of Yates. The defense, Parnham said, was to focus on why Dietz found Yates to be sane and therefore legally responsible for her actions and also why he came to the opposite conclusion in 2004 in a similar case involving Deanna Laney, a Texas mother who killed two of her sons. Kaylynn Williford, who was a Harris County prosecutor, said Dietz's analysis in other cases is not relevant to the Yates case. She says she will ask the judge to limit Dietz's testimony to his analysis of Yates. If convicted, Yates was facing life in prison, but not execution. That issue was settled at her first trial, when the jury rejected execution.
Texas law defines insanity as the inability to know right from wrong. At Yates' trial, Dietz testified that Yates knew that drowning her children was wrong. Jurors agreed with Dietz's opinion and rejected her insanity defense. A key difference in the Yates case from other

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