Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Yates better off in hospital than prison?

Andrea Yates will be moving from prison to a psychiatric facility until her new trial. It is a small win in a story of terrible loss.

Yates’ family had a history of bipolar disorder and depression and she had a history of suicide attempts and hospitalizations. By all accounts, Yates was in a state of continued deterioration in the months before the murders – she would sit and stare into space, she had lost a tremendous amount of weight, she was not showering.

Notes from her April 2001 release from one voluntary assessment say to “contact [the doctor] if danger to self or others.”

On June 18, 2001, her husband said she was still deteriorating and asked that her medication be adjusted. The doctor “told Andrea to think positive rather than negative thoughts.”

On June 20, she drowned her five children.

In interviews after the murders she talked about how her children would “perish in the fires of hell if they were not killed.” She asked for a razor to see if the “mark of the beast (666) was still on her head.” She also mentioned that she had been unable to destroy Satan, so then-Governor Bush would have to do it.

Yes, a psychiatric hospital is a better place for her than prison. How sad that we let the debate reach this point.

MORE: A mother speaks from prison about killing her kids ... Yates’ mother hopes Andrea can get treatment ... Children deserve protection ... Wait until he escalates ... Andrea Yates ... Parents who kill their kids

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