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Chip R
01-06-2005, 01:24 PM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=3&u=/nm/20050106/ts_nm/crime_yates_dc

Texas Court Reverses Child-Killer Yates' Conviction

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Andrea Yates, the Houston mother serving a life sentence for drowning her five children in 2001, had her murder convictions overturned by a Texas state appeals court on Thursday because of flawed testimony by an expert witness.

The three-member panel of the Texas 1st Court of Appeals said it reversed the verdicts of a lower court in part because of errors in the testimony from the state's expert psychiatric witness, Dr. Park Dietz.

Dietz had told the jury Yates patterned the killings on an episode of the television series Law & Order, for which he had worked as a consultant. However, defense lawyers discovered the episode he cited never existed.

"We conclude that there is a reasonable likelihood that Dr. Dietz's false testimony could have affected the judgment," the court said in its unanimous ruling overturning the conviction.

A lower court had rejected Yates' insanity defense in the original trial and found her guilty of capital murder.

Harris County prosecutor Joe Ownby, who plans to appeal the ruling, said "I am disappointed but not shocked at the ruling." He said the testimony by Dietz was "not critical as to the outcome of the case."

The prosecution plans to seek a re-hearing by the same panel that ruled on Thursday. If that fails it would ask for a hearing by the full 1st Court of Appeals, and if needed would take the case to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Yates suffered from severe postpartum depression after the birth of her fifth child and was taking medication at the time of the killings.

She admitted to drowning the children, who ranged in age from six months to seven years, in the family bathtub on June 20, 2001, while her husband was at work at the nearby NASA (news - web sites) Johnson Space Center.

She told police she killed the children to save them from the devil, but a Houston jury convicted her of capital murder in March 2002 for three of the deaths.

RedFanAlways1966
01-06-2005, 01:32 PM
The three-member panel of the Texas 1st Court of Appeals said it reversed the verdicts of a lower court in part because of errors in the testimony from the state's expert psychiatric witness, Dr. Park Dietz.
Dietz had told the jury Yates patterned the killings on an episode of the television series Law & Order, for which he had worked as a consultant. However, defense lawyers discovered the episode he cited never existed.
"We conclude that there is a reasonable likelihood that Dr. Dietz's false testimony could have affected the judgment," the court said in its unanimous ruling overturning the conviction.

If this is true, then the good doctor should be prosecuted for perjury. This is not an error on his part... it is lying. Why would he lie? I don't know why he would lie. Unless he thought it made him look like a big-shot to be a consultant on a TV program. Anyway I look at it, if true, he flat out lied. Now the taxpayers must take the burden of paying for a new trial. I am sure Dr. Dietz was paid for his testimony as well.

CbusRed
01-06-2005, 01:36 PM
Please tell me this sociopath hasnt been released from prison. SHE ADMITTED TO IT!

RedFanAlways1966
01-06-2005, 01:38 PM
Please tell me this sociopath hasnt been released from prison. SHE ADMITTED TO IT!

Nope. Just sits in the holding cell while a new trial is done if this follows through.

CbusRed
01-06-2005, 01:39 PM
good.

RedFanAlways1966
01-06-2005, 01:48 PM
good.

Absolutely! Just millions more tax money being spent to send her back to prison. But it really isn't fair for the dummy doctor to lie on the stand. I will bet money (not tax money) that he will not be charged w/ perjury. That angers me. He should at least be made to give back the payment he received for his testimony. If it was you or I, we'd be sitting int he cell next to Ms. Yates waiting for our perjury trial.

Unassisted
01-06-2005, 03:31 PM
It's not like this will be a difficult trial. Harris County, where she was tried, is notoriously tough-minded on defendants. A second trial could easily turn out worse for her.

CbusRed
01-06-2005, 03:34 PM
Absolutely! Just millions more tax money being spent to send her back to prison. But it really isn't fair for the dummy doctor to lie on the stand. I will bet money (not tax money) that he will not be charged w/ perjury. That angers me. He should at least be made to give back the payment he received for his testimony. If it was you or I, we'd be sitting int he cell next to Ms. Yates waiting for our perjury trial.

I totally agree, I was just first concerned about an admitted killer being released into the public.

Chip R
01-06-2005, 03:40 PM
If this is true, then the good doctor should be prosecuted for perjury. This is not an error on his part... it is lying. Why would he lie? I don't know why he would lie. Unless he thought it made him look like a big-shot to be a consultant on a TV program. Anyway I look at it, if true, he flat out lied. Now the taxpayers must take the burden of paying for a new trial. I am sure Dr. Dietz was paid for his testimony as well.
The prosecutors bear some, if not all, of the blame here. How hard would it have been to check if there was ever a Law and Order episode like that? If I were the DA I'd fire the person who prosecuted the case just for that. And if I prosecuted the case myself, I'd resign.

Redsland
01-06-2005, 04:50 PM
This would make for a good episode of "Law & Order."

;)

Chip R
01-06-2005, 05:04 PM
This would make for a good episode of "Law & Order."

;)
I was thinking the same thing. :)

traderumor
01-06-2005, 05:19 PM
I was thinking the same thing. :)
Cue theme. Now that song is in my head.

TRF
01-06-2005, 05:47 PM
Texas right? My state?

We don't spend millions here on criminals. (well of course we really do, but i am trying to make a point so i never let facts get in the way)

Texas has a way with people that kill. We kill 'em back.

brutal? yes? so?

RFS62
01-06-2005, 05:48 PM
Texas death row is like the express lane.

:thumbdown