Yates conviction thrown out
This is really amazing news.
An appeals court on Thursday overturned the capital murder convictions of Andrea Yates, ruling that a prosecution witness gave false testimony that may have influenced the jury that convicted her in the drowning deaths of three of her five children...
The court based its reversal on false testimony by a prosecution witness, psychiatrist Park Deitz, who stated during her March 2002 trial that the killings occurred shortly after an episode of the NBC television show “Law & Order” in which a woman drowned her children and later was acquitted by reason of insanity. (MSNBC is a joint venture of NBC and Microsoft)....
Jurors learned after Yates was convicted that the episode never existed.
This is a huge oversight by the prosecution and it makes me want to blow steam out of my ears. The story of a woman who saw a murder on "Law and Order" and decide to copycat it reads much, much differently than a woman who is a member of a fundamentalist church who believes her children have demons and she has to kills them. Which is to say, the latter is a hella lot crazier and much more likely to be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Not read too much into this, but it just demonstrates that the prosecution knew that they could side-step the whole issue of the effects of participation in a patriarchal, woman-loathing church on a woman's mental health with any bullshit story and the jury would buy into it, relieved of the responsibility to seriously consider what is extremely unpleasant to think about, which is how religion can hurt people. It's amazing how people will side with you when you relieve them of the burden of cognitive dissonance.