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2003

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Criminal Law and Procedure

Criminal Procedure

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Conviction Of Andrea Yates: A Narrative Of Denial, Sherry F. Colb Jul 2003

The Conviction Of Andrea Yates: A Narrative Of Denial, Sherry F. Colb

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This piece discusses the case of Andrea Yates, the woman who confessed to drowning her five children to death and was subsequently convicted of murder (though the conviction has since been overturned). In this piece, Colb contends that Andrea Yates was convicted because of the jurors’ emotional/psychological response to the possibility that post-partum psychosis could cause an otherwise decent person to commit such brutal acts. As a symptom of denial, Colb argues, the jury rejected the insanity defense and thereby reassured itself that only evil people could do what Yates did. If that were the case, then it would ...