The Insanity Plea in American Law Case Study by adverbialx

The Insanity Plea in American Law
A case study analysis of the use of the insanity plea in the trial of Andrea Yates.
# 101482 | 861 words | 6 sources | APA | 2008 | US

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This paper discusses the insanity defense in American law. The paper explains that, in order to be morally culpable, a person must have awareness of the moral value of their actions. The paper then focuses on the case of Andrea Yates who killed all five of her children. It discusses her plea of insanity and describes how it was viewed and put into play during her trial.

From the Paper:

"The issue of responsibility was a key issue in the first trial with her husband blaming the psychiatrists, and the psychiatrists blaming the husband. This blame game seemed to play into the hands of the insanity defense. The husband, Russell Yates, was told that if Andrea Yates had more children it would cause her to have a psychotic episode, but this warning was not followed and Andrea had another child, her fifth (8). But the husband claimed that the psychiatrists should have been better able to keep her condition from going out of control, and that they should have kept her on the medication that he thought would work."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Valentine Carol A. "The Insanity of the Insanity Defense: How psychiatry has undermined the criminal justice system in America by justifying crime and propagandizing through the redefinition of words". The Prosecutor, the journal of the National District Atorneys Association (Spring 1982)
  • Insanity Defence. Wikipedia article <>
  • Setrakian, Lara. Despite 'Not Guilty' Verdict, Doctor Who Examined Yates Is Unconvinced July 27, 2006
  • ABC's Good Morning America, March 27, 2002 Audio Excerpt
  • Arenella, Peter. "Jury should have found Yates Insane." UCLA Today. 2000

Cite this Case Study:

APA Format

The Insanity Plea in American Law (2008, February 26) Retrieved December 04, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Insanity Plea in American Law" 26 February 2008. Web. 04 December. 2023. <>