masthead-highres

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Trial by Jury Beats Incarceration by Fiat

Rusty Yates, husband of the woman who drowned her five small children, claims the United States is "barbaric" for even putting the killer on trial:
Rusty is no fan of the treatment of mentally ill patients in the United States. He says Americans don't have an accurate concept of mental illness, which becomes "very evident by the fact that many people have come out -- I mean, there have been many supporters, people who have experienced mental illness or who have some understanding. (But) many people have been against Andrea because of what she's done without understanding mental illness.

"If you look at other countries, you know, in terms of the way we treat women in our legal system, you know, we're really barbaric compared to many other countries. In many other countries, the woman that did something like what Andrea has done would just be sent to a hospital immediately and never be tried."
One doesn't have to "understand mental illness" to realize no single individual or government department should have the authority to determine that a killer is innocent by reason of insanity -- which, by default, is what Rusty Yates is advocating.

The right of the accused to trial by jury is not a sign of barbarism, but civilization; even more so in a case about a crime as repellant as the one in this situation.

Not surprisingly, Yates fails to name any countries less "barbaric" than our own.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:59 PM

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