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Andrea Yates

2002-03-19 17:14:13+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

I try to avoid the tabloid news stories, until now I've managed to keep from commenting on the Andrea Yates case, but I'll allow one link which sums it up pretty well: Debra Saunders wants to start a Russell Yates Vasectomy Fund.

[ related topics: Law Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-03-19 18:36:12+00 by: topspin

For this guy, why not go for the next step?

#Comment made: 2002-03-20 03:13:20+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

I haven't followed this story at all. All I know is that this lady killed her kids. I've also never heard of Debra Saunders, much less read her column. After reading this, I'm left with two main first impressions:

  1. Russell is either very stupid, a supreme asshole or both. And,
  2. Debra Saunders is a bit excitable and unbelievable herself. She makes several sweeping claims with data that I assume is meant to back them up - but doesn't.

Further; I know what she meant, but I still must disagree with her take on death in the final paragraphs. Not everybody views death with such fear and revulsion. For some of us, it is a natural and expected part of life. Personally, I can easily see myself preferring death to a life spent in a cell. From there, it's an easy (and reasonable) step to "worse, but not much" for life in prison.

#Comment made: 2002-03-20 04:05:07+00 by: Diane Reese

<flame on> Of course I can never claim to speak for someone else's experience, but as someone who has suffered through postpartum depression, I can tell you that this whole thing makes me sick. The fact that a woman drowned her innocent children, the fact that her dork of a husband didn't offer her any support and seemingly doesn't really lament that fact that he'll be without her and the children for the rest of his life, and the fact that the defense tried to blame it all on postpartum depression. I'm back on my threadbare theme again: personal responsibility. Andrea should have gotten help for the mental illnesses she had. Rusty should have been sure she got the help she needed. Andrea should have been assertive about asking for support for raising five little children herself, and "homeschooling" them in the process. (At least they weren't still living in a converted school bus by then.) And postpartum depression is not likely the cause of all this. Andrea may have had it--I know *I* did--but that alone wasn't what caused her problems. It was her inability to take responsibility for her life, or for anyone around her to care enough to do it on her behalf.

I'm sure some would claim I'm blaming the victim, but the victims are all dead. Andrea Yates is just a sick woman who unfortunately seems to have lived in a family where no one took responsibility for anything. <flame off>

#Comment made: 2002-03-20 11:42:09+00 by: Larry Burton

<My imagined thoughts running through AY's head while filling bathtub>

That son-of-a-bitch expects me to stay home with no one but these damn kids to talk to, he won't even raise a hand to help me change a diaper and now he's talking about another baby before this little bitch is even weaned! Let's see how he feels about me having another one of his babies when he gets home tonight!

Andrea is solely responsible for the death of those kids. Russell can't diminsh her responsiblity by sharing it with her. Russell is a dispicable man who bears the responsibility of mistreating his wife and being a terrible husband and father but Andrea alone must bear the responsibility of the death of those kids.

#Comment made: 2002-03-20 15:18:18+00 by: Pete

I guess I'm not following as closely as others. What makes Russel a villain instead of just a putz?

I did read this interview in which the female reporter has a one-on-one dinner with Russel: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/03/magazine/03ENCOUNTER.html

Man, the article in "a one-on-one" looks as wrong as it sounds right.

#Comment made: 2002-03-20 16:08:32+00 by: Dan Lyke

Pete, it's a shame that article is so short. That's starting to actually give the guy humanity.

But if the defense was to be believed, and if Russell Yates was to be believed, Andrea had a history, outside of the post-partum depression, of various symptoms of mental illness.

Five kids. Let me repeat that: Five kids. And he knew she had a history of mental illness? And now he's talking about starting a family again? This is someone way too hung up on the idea of procreation, who isn't looking to his partner as a partner, but as a means to an end.

I can understand forgiving her. I think the American "justice" system is badly in need of reform and that we should be treating almost everyone incarcerated for murder as insane. But if the linke he was giving to the media about her insanity defense was correct, then he certainly saw warning signs that he should have acted upon, and he definitely shouldn't be talking about having more kids until he does not only a hell of a lot of soul searching, but a hell of a lot of personal growth.

#Comment made: 2002-03-21 19:29:33+00 by: other_todd

This is one of those stories I don't comment on anywhere - which is why it hasn't turned up in my weblog - because it's just a bad piece of work on all sides. I try to avoid the ones where I come off as saying, "EVERYONE is wrong, so there." But that's about how I feel about the Yateses.