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Word Count: 2,249
On June 20th 2001 Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the bathtub of her Texas home She was arrested immediately and soon thereafter put to trial The jury found Andrea not guilty by reason of insanity But as we look at cases of this nature we often ask what deems a person insane How is the insanity defense used The legal definition of insanity is a mental illness of a severe nature in a person who cannot distinguish fantasy from reality cannot manage hisher own affairs or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior In criminal cases when the defense uses a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity this then requires a trial which will determine the defendants insanity or sanity at the time the crime was committed The insanity plea has been used throughout time as a defense which leads to a critical analysis of the person who has committed a crime Yet there have been certain cases where the plea has been misused in attempts to lessen a defendants sentence Despite the misuse the examination of the cases of Andrea Yates Jennifer Lynn Bigham and John Hinckley Jr will show that the insanity plea can be beneficial when used appropriately and is a successful means of bettering our society by keeping detrimental individuals off the streets Andrea Yates was a mother who had just had her 5th child with her husband Rusty and by all accounts was suffering from a severe bout of postpartum depression All 5 children were under the age of 8 and were homeschooled One day Andrea woke up and waited for her husband to go to work Once alone Yates seized this opportunity to drown each and every one of her children in her bathtub one kid at a time Once this terrible deed had been committed Yates immediately called her husband at work He could tell something was wrong and upon asking what the issue was
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