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Thread: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

  1. #1
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...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.
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  3. #2
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    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.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  4. #3
    Team Puffy Leadoff Hitter CbusRed's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    Please tell me this sociopath hasnt been released from prison. SHE ADMITTED TO IT!

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by CbusRed
    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.
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  6. #5
    Team Puffy Leadoff Hitter CbusRed's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    good.

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by CbusRed
    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.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  8. #7
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    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.
    /r/reds

  9. #8
    Team Puffy Leadoff Hitter CbusRed's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966
    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.

  10. #9
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966
    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.
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  11. #10
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    This would make for a good episode of "Law & Order."

    Makes all the routine posts.

  12. #11
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland
    This would make for a good episode of "Law & Order."

    I was thinking the same thing.
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  13. #12
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R
    I was thinking the same thing.
    Cue theme. Now that song is in my head.
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

  14. #13
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    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?
    Suck it up cupcake.

  15. #14
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Andrea Yates' conviction overturned

    Texas death row is like the express lane.

    :thumbdown
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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