CAN I KILL ANDREA YATES AND PLEAD INSANITY?
By Dr. Patrick Jonston
August 5, 2006
On July 27, a Texas jury found Andrea Yates "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity." She had confessed to drowning her five children in the bathtub one at a time.
Mr. John Cannon, the police spokesperson, described what the police found in the Yates' master bedroom. Four children were laid out beneath a sheet on the bed, clothed and soaking wet. All of them were dead, their opens wide open in a lifeless stare. In the bathtub, the oldest child was submerged amid feces and vomit floating on the surface.
The last jury in 2002 found her guilty and she was given a life sentence, but a testimony of psychiatrist Park Dietz during the trial was found to contain factual errors. He falsely claimed that a Law and Order television episode aired just before the deaths in which a woman drowned her children and was cleared of guilt by reason of insanity. This, the Texas Court of Appeals reasoned, could have swayed the jury and so the Court overthrew the unanimous jury verdict.
Now that the second jury has acquitted her of guilty, she will be under the care of a psychiatrist and, when he sees fit, she'll be released back into society a free woman. Who knows, she might even have kids again!
Why can't someone who loves those five children drown Andrea Yates and plead insanity? I'll tell you why: because that would be sanity, not insanity!
Hopefully, there is some good that can come out of this insane verdict. Maybe some of us will realize that the American justice system is hopelessly corrupt. We have long ago abandoned God's Word as the standard of morality and justice and an insane criminal justice system has been the inevitable result. As long as we endure this fundamentally corrupt system, children will continue to be murdered, raped, and molested.
It's not just murderers like Andrea Yates that should be put to death, quickly and humanely, but child molesters and rapists as well. Don't we despise these crimes as much as murder? What do we despise the most: a person who murderers a cheating spouse, or a man who lures a child, abducts, and rapes them repeatedly? Which crime more enrages your sensibilities provokes you to cry out for justice? Doesn't the child rapist deserve to be punished just as severely as the murderer?
There are roughly 563,000 free sex offenders who are supposed to be registered in state databases, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 100,000 to 150,000 whose location is unknown. As of today's date in the state of Ohio, there are 14,492 free sexual offenders according to Ohio's Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification (ESORN) website. These are rapists and child molesters who have been convicted by a jury and are free in Ohio. You could increase that number many times over if you included those who were really guilty but declared "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity" or whose verdict was overturned on a technicality. Add to that the number of murderers free on parole. In Muskingum County, the county in Ohio in which I reside, there are 179 sexual offenders roaming free. And don't write that number down, there will be more added to that number every day! Our system of injustice guarantees it. It is hard to figure out who is more insane, our criminal justice system, or the ocean of victims who continue to trust morally bankrupt judges and criminal databases to protect them from child predators and murderers.
I have witnessed firsthand the devastation brought about by child predators. Several young members of a family close to mine were sexually assaulted by a 6 ½ feet tall, 240 pound child molester named Sean Featherstone. He lived in our neighborhood for one summer when I was in my early teens, then mysteriously disappeared. When I bumped into Sean again during my college years in Tallahassee, Florida, he had a wallet loaded with pictures of little boys he had molested and sodomized. It was then that he confessed of his sexual abuse of dear friends of mine many years earlier - three young boys between the ages of eight and twelve. Soon, he disappeared again into the shadows and, I assume, is back on the prowl.
As a physician, I treat many patients who have been devastated by sexual abuse when they were young. Most of them are being treated for psychological illnesses.
A fun-loving six-year-old boy told his aunt that his uncle "touches my privates" at night. He was spanked and sent to his room for "telling stories." The boy has been wetting his bed and having nightmares ever since.
A 25-five-year-old single mother of three is riddled with tattoos and body-piercings, and her panic attacks are debilitating. She requires ever-increasing doses of controlled substances just to function. Her symptoms - as well as her licentiousness - began when a friend of the family's began to systematically grope, then rape her when she was a young girl.
One 45-year-old mother of four confided in me that she could not stop crying and she didn't know why. W traced her symptoms back to when they first began, and that's when she realized that her symptoms began when her father molested her from five to eleven years of age. Every time she saw him at a family reunion, the wound was ripped back open and the suffering continued. There has been no healing because there has been no justice. Even if he were convicted, he would certainly be free by now, and with the high recidivism rate of released child predators, he would likely have accumulated more victims.
Besides publicizing databases that don't protect children, what is our justice system doing about this devastation? Let's review three cases:
On the 6th of March, 2006, 38-year-old David Robison, who raped an 11-year-old boy over three years, had 16 years of his 25-year sentence suspended in exchange for five years' probation.
On the same day, 50-year-old Robert Lee Eismon was sentenced to 15 years for sexually assaulting a two-year-old girl during a holiday picnic. He lured the child into a garage, pulled down his pants, and began to fondle the little girl's genitals. Her screams of pain alerted those in the house who broke into the garage and rescued the terrified toddler.
The same month, a Franklin County Common Pleas Judge came under fire for sentencing 46-year-old Columbus resident Andrew S. Selva to five years' probation after the man admitted to sexually abusing two boys over three years. The youngest of the boys was five years old when the rapes began. The first of the five years will be spent at home with electronic monitoring.
"He's got a disease like I've got a disease," Judge John A. Connor said, justifying his decision to "treat" the child-rapist at large rather than incarcerate him. Apparently, Judge Connor's own disease is alcoholism; he is known to be involved in a 12-step program. "I don't know that prison would have helped, except for revenge, and revenge is not in the sentencing guidelines."
By Judge Connor's action, the Proverb is proved: "the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." And we trust these men to protect us, to protect our children from child predators, rapists, and murderers?
It's high time that communities abandon the hopeless state and federal mandates for criminal justice and venture back to a reasonable system on their own.
If Muskingum County, for instance, rejected the system of justice practiced by the state and federal systems, and practiced a criminal justice system modeled after the one penned by the hand of God in the Holy Bible, child molestation, rape, and murder would come to a screeching halt. Why? It's a promise found in God's Word, the Holy Bible.
God's Word says that when murderers and rapists are executed, observers will "hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more such evil among you" (Deuteronomy 19:20-21). God commands murderers and child-rapists to be put to death without pity because He loves us and doesn't want the innocent to suffer. God commands that they be put to death swiftly "because when a sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Ecclesiastes 8:11). The penalty God's Word mandates provides a sufficient deterrent to protect children from child-predators, women from rapists, and the helpless from cruel murderers. Do we want to protect our children from these beasts, or not? Who are we going to trust to prescribe justice for criminals and protect the innocent - Judge John Connor or the Judge of heaven and earth?
Romans 13:1-7 confirms that God obligates civil authorities to do justice: they are to be ministers of God who "bear the sword" and are a "terror" to evildoers. Civil authorities are commanded by God to be a "revenger" - did you catch that, Judge Connor? - "to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil;" "Evil" defined not by a vote or popular consensus, but by the arbiter of right and wrong, justice and injustice - God Almighty. The Bible - the Old Testament tempered by the New - is all we need for criminal justice.
If we followed God's system, rapists and murderers would not go to prison. Prison is no more a biblically-justifiable sanction for child-rape or murder than probation and psychiatric group sessions. Incarceration in air-conditioned tax-subsidized facilities, eating three meals a day at taxpayer expense, getting healthcare at taxpayer expense, enjoying weight-benches and basketball courts at taxpayer expense, practicing perversion with fellow prisoners, and defending themselves in court with tax-subsidized attorneys who plea bargain and cut deals is not a just sanction for child-rape. To force the victims and the victims' families to pay for the upkeep of their assailants in prisons through forced taxation is the height of injustice and cruelty. The parents of murdered and molested children have to endure the stress and pain of the crime all over again every time that the child predator comes before the parole board for an opportunity to be let out of prison early for "good behavior."
If we followed God's system, the execution would take place publicly, and the witnesses would participate in the executing. There is no insanity defense, no statute of limitations, no throwing out authentic evidence gathered without a court order, no disregarding of uncoerced confessions, no cutting deals between defense and prosecution, no age limit for prosecution, no parole of convicts, no prison escapes, and no repeat offenders.
Furthermore, there would be few, if any, convictions of innocent people. In God's Word, the death penalty mandated at least two eye-witnesses (a strong piece of evidence, like a confession, video evidence, or DNA evidence, would count as a witness.) Circumstantial evidence, or the testimony of one person, would never lead to a conviction. I have a good friend - faithful husband, father of three children, youth minister and open-air preacher - who has wasted away four years of his life in a Pennsylvania prison cell based upon one lie from one boy, who claimed that he propositioned him for sex. All the character witnesses for this youth pastor couldn't persuade the jury to declare him "Not Guilty" for fear that the boy may be telling the truth. He would be eligible for parole if he would just confess to the crime, but this he will not do because God's Word forbids lying, and this dear brother refuses to lie to better his life.
What would be the punishment for this 14-year-old liar if he was caught in his lie today and brought on charges of perjury? A slap on the wrist? Community service? A couple of weeks in a youth detention center, hanging out and playing ball with kids just as evil as he? God's law punishes perjury in a capital case by executing the perjurer.
The perjurer faced the exact punishment that he tried to bring upon an innocent person by his lying. This, God promises us, prevents perjury.
On July 27, President Bush signed legislation that creates a searchable national database of sex offenders. Legislatures have fashioned rules that prevent sexual predators from driving school buses, working in day cares, or living within a thousand feet of a school. Would that have saved Adam Walsh from being abducted from a mall, sodomized and murdered? Would that have saved Elizabeth Smart from being abducted and raped for nine months? Would that have protected Joanne Presti and her 12-year-old daughter Alyssa from being raped and murdered by a convicted sexual predator out on parole? Would that have protected five-year-old Destiny Norton, pictured below, from being abducted by a sexual predator and murdered last month?
What is a sexual offender database good for, besides as a hit list for a Judge who knows what justice looks like? Don't you long for the day when we have to look up old obituaries in order to create a list of sexual predators?
John Walsh, whose son Adam Walsh was raped and murdered 25 years ago, told reporters last week that he thought that all sexual predators should have implants inserted into their rectums which would explode if they violated parole. (The reporters didn't laugh.)
Why don't we do away with the implant and the parole, and just put them to death in a quick, humane manner, like God says? It'll save the taxpayers a lot of money, it'll protect the children from rapists and murderers out on parole or who escaped from prison, it'll provide a sufficient deterrent to prevent men from becoming sexual predators in the first place - even more than Mr. Walsh's proposal for exploding rectal implants. Moreover, a public execution will increase the likelihood that the convicts will repent and make peace with God. The conversion rate was 50 % for the criminals who died next to Jesus on Calvary.
God's ways really are best. He knows what He's talking about. His cross and His law have one thing in common: both are evidence of His love for us. Why don't we repent of our injustice return to Him and His Word?
© 2006 Patrick Johnston - All Rights Reserved
Patrick and his wife Elizabeth Johnston reside in central Ohio with their five young home-schooled children. Patrick Johnston is a family practice physician and founder of the Association of Pro-life Physicians, which is dedicated to restoring a remnant of physicians in our communities who are convinced that life begins at conception and who will not commit nor refer for abortions (www.ProLifePhysicians.org).
He founded the Alliance to Reform Education Funding to fighting public school levies and promoting Christian home-schooling (www.StopSchoolLevies.org). He founded the Coalition for Justice for All Ohioans to pursue justice for Ohio's pre-born and to provide photo-documentary evidence on-line at www.StopColumbusKilling.net of the abortionists and their accomplices at the abortion clinics of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Johnston is committed to revival in the church, and the restoration of Biblical law and constitutional government in America.