[SOLVED] Andrea Yates

Andrea Yates assignmentAndrea Yates and her husband Rusty were devoted Christian.  The couple had five children and one miscarriage.  Andrea suffered post-partum depression and psychosis (loss of contact with reality).In July 1999, Yates had a nervous breakdown, which led to two suicide attempts and two psychiatric hospitalizations that summer.  She was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder.  She was successfully treated and discharged in January 2000.Once home, Andrea did not take the medication and as a result she began to self-mutilate and refused to feed her children because she felt they were eating too much.  She thought there were video cameras in the ceilings and said that the charters on television were talking to her and the children.  She told Rusty (her husband) about the hallucinations, yet neither of them informed Andrea’s psychiatrist.  On July 20, Andrea put a knife to her neck and begged her husband to let her die.In the years preceding the murders, Rusty and Andrea went to church and met a preacher by the name of Michael Woroniecki. He was not a normal preacher. He preached the wickedness of Eve and of all women, and insisted that if a mother did not bring up her children in the ways of Jesus Christ, she and her children were bound for Hell.  Andrea Yates was captivated and convinced of Woroniecki’s statements.Over time, Yates’ condition began to worsen: she often refused medication, refused to feed the children and herself, hallucinated, read the Bible to frantic excess, and generally displayed the signs of a madwoman. On 20 June, 2001, Yates filled the bathtub with water and called her children in, one by one, and forcibly drowned them.  She started with the three youngest boys, beginning with Paul, placing his dead body atop the bed covered with a sheet.  Last to die was the oldest, seven-year-old Noah, whom she later confessed put up the toughest fight.Asked the reasons for killing her children, she claimed that she was a “bad mother” and needed to be “punished”.  She felt the children were not acting in a way that Jesus would find favorable.Discussion Questions:What psychiatric illnesses did Andrea suffer from?Why did Andrea claim she drowned her 5 children?What role did Andrea’s preacher play in the crime committed? Would you hold him responsible in any way?  Why or why not?If you were on the jury, would you find Andrea Yates guilty of murder or not guilty by reason of insanity? Why? (use the standard set out in the lecture slides).What role did the television show, Law and Order play in Andrea Yates getting a second trial?


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