Carol Platt Liebau

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

This is appalling. The Houston Chronicle is arguing against a retrial of Andrea Yates -- the woman who killed her five children in June 2001. Those children were Paul, Luke, John, Noah and Mary. Most news accounts won't bother listing the childrens' names, but they deserve to be named, after all; they were people, little human beings, whose lives were snuffed out by their own mother -- the one person they should be able to trust most in all the world.

If you have a strong stomach, read this. It will break your heart. Little 7 year old Noah Yates, the last to die, tried to escape but was dragged back to the bathtub by his own mother, who later calmly noted that he thought he was being punished for something -- she even surmised that his last, frantically gasped words were of apology.

Andrea Yates knew right from wrong. Had she not, why call 911? Why summon the police? Why call her husband?

No, anything less than a criminal conviction (too bad the death penalty's not available) is not enough. And only those with no feeling at all for Mary, Noah, John, Luke and Paul Yates -- and by extension, those who place no value on those five young lives -- could call for nothing but psychiatic treatment for Andrea Yates.

Of course there are women with severe postpartum psychosis. But it isn't a license to kill your children. Interpreting it as such is an insult, a deep insult, to the millions of decent women who may find themselves depressed after the birth of a child -- but who would never, ever, EVER chase down their own children to hold them under water as they struggled desperately to escape death at their own mother's hand.

And sending any other message than that our society deems such an appalling, abhorrent act to be unequivocally evil would be, in fact, unequivocally evil itself.


Blogger cav_mommy said...

I absolutely agree. the definition of insanity is what we make it. those of us who don't comment horrible acts of violence call the rest of society that do insane. why should adrea yates get "special treatment" because her act was especially horrendous. jeffery dahmer was obviously insane too but he didn't get special treatment. more people need to stand up for the rights of the children. heck they gave scott peterson the death pentalty and had much less evidence on him.

10:05 PM  

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