Friday, August 06, 2004

The Mercy of the Wicked is Cruel

Remember Andrea Yates? She was the homeschooling mother who drowned her five children in the bathtub several years ago. The Texas jury who convicted her decided, in their infinite mercy, not to give her the death penalty. So now she is being forced to spend the rest of her life being tormented by what she did.

I feel a sense of compassion for this lady. I think it is quite possible that she was suffering from postpartum psychosis which led her to do the terrible deed. My sympathy for her, however, does not mean I would have commuted her just execution to a life sentence out of a misguided sense of mercy. If an animal you own kills someone, Scripture demands that you put the animal down, even if it wasn't culpable on the grounds of having a moral intent to kill. I think the same thing applies to people. Insanity is no grounds for commuting a life sentence. If a person kills someone and it isn't accidental, they should be executed, even if they are mentally challenged.

Poor Andrea. According to reports she is suffering from mental breakdown over the extreme guilt of what she did. They put her in the hospital to help her with the breakdown, and she comes to her senses only to realize afresh what she did and be driven back into despair and mental collapse.

This is such a pitiful situation.

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