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2006

Faculty Scholarship

Family Law

Andrea Yates

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Newfound Religion: Mothers, God, And Infanticide, Susan Ayres Jan 2006

Newfound Religion: Mothers, God, And Infanticide, Susan Ayres

Faculty Scholarship

This essay focuses on cultural constructions of infanticide and psychosis, especially cases in which the mother heard delusional commands to kill her children. Part I examines the background of the Yates, Laney, and Diaz cases. Part II explores whether these mothers can be seen paradoxically as feminist subjects of empowerment rather than as victims. This essay argues that psychotic mothers have been disempowered and silenced, so their acts cannot be seen as subversive feminist gestures. Part III, however, arguest that the legal trials of Laney and Diaz demonstrate a possible subversion through trial strategy. These two trials more fully told ...