Andrea Yates' Jurors Get the Case (again)

After several hours of intense and emotional closing arguments today, the jury in Andrea Yates' second murder trial now has the case. It took the first Yates' jury just a few hours back in 2002 to reject an insanity defense and find her guilty of killing her children in the bathtub of their home, one by one. As the court day ends, this panel already is reaching that mark.

A surprise? Probably not. First of all, the initial panel took an inordinately short time to convict Yates of murder, probably because they also decided at the same time that they would not vote for death during the sentencing phase. You would think after a trial that lasted a few weeks that the panel would at least want to sleep on things for a night or two. Second, it is conceivable that the six men and six women who are deliberating this time around are slighty more "pro-defense" than their predecessors were for the simple reason that jurors this time around did not have to be "death-qualified"-- capable of imposing a sentence of death. Finally, it is possible that the Yates' defense got more traction for its insanity defense this time around even though prosecutors put on more evidence of Yates' legal "sanity."

I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, have a great night.

By Andrew Cohen |  July 24, 2006; 6:05 PM ET
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