Based on the nuances of Andrea Yates’ criminal case, one can note that the woman meets the criteria of an insanity defense. While taking into account the background of the tragedy and the testimonies of the defendant at the trial, her mental state was significantly impaired. The voices that Yates allegedly heard in her head could be regarded as a sign of a mental disorder (“June 21, 2001,” n.d.). The phenomenon of insanity defense includes some characteristic features that allow the court to indicate the corresponding insanity. The inability to control one’s behavior and the unawareness of the criminal nature of the offense fall under these headings (“6.1 The insanity defense,” n.d.). Given the results of the forensic examination, Yates was found to be mentally insane, which automatically defined her as someone who could not be held responsible for her actions (“June 21, 2001,” n.d.). Therefore, the accused meets the criteria of an insanity defense.
Given the gravity of Andrea Yates’ crime, it is unlikely that she will ever be rehabilitated. Her case falls under the M’Naghten insanity defense standard, which presents a mental defect as a reason for not being able to prosecute a criminal on a common basis (“6.1 The insanity defense,” n.d.). At the same time, the compulsory treatment of Yates is mandatory and not subject to revision. Even after the removal of the strict security level and the provision of more lenient conditions of detention, the defendant cannot count on the consideration of her case on a general basis. From a criminal law standpoint, she cannot be considered guilty. However, for her and others’ social safety, Yates is required to undergo supervised treatment, and the severity of her act is a good reason for not having any rehabilitation procedures.
6.1 The insanity defense. (n.d.). Criminal Law. Web.
June 21, 2001: Yates confesses killing her children. (n.d.). ABC News. Web.