April 05, 2004
Deanna Laney acquitted
Deanna Laney, the East Texas woman who stoned two of her sons to death and injured a third, was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Friday, meaning that her jury found her to be not quite the same as Andrea Yates, for whatever the reason. Jeralyn spots a reason that I didn't know about.
Deanna Laney was tried by a Tyler, Texas jury that was not qualified as a death-penalty jury because the state didn't seek the death penalty in her case. Andrea Yates' jury was a death-qualified jury. Studies show that death qualified juries are more likely to convict in the guilt phase. We think it's likely death qualified jurors are also less likely to find a defendant not guilty by reason of insanity.
Another reason to thank our DA, Chuck Rosenthal.
For those of you who think that Mrs. Laney is getting a free pass, look again.
State law allows Laney to be committed to a maximum security state hospital. Medical evaluations will dictate when she will be released. She will remain at the Smith County Jail until a hearing regarding her transfer.
She'll be locked up, possibly for the rest of her life, until she is deemed to be fully cured of the mental illness that drove her to commit this horrible crime. Not a fate that I'd want awaiting me.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 05, 2004 to Crime and Punishment
If she truly is insane and in agony over her actions, then I don't think there's anything the penal system can do to her which is worse than a long, long life of being forced to dwell on what she did.
I'm sorry, but I don't buy the whole insanity defense. I'm not saying Deanna Laney wasn't insane, but in her case, I think insane was synonomous with evil. I think she deserved to be punished the way anyone who isn't "insane" would be punished, but that didn't happen. Yes, maybe she'll be institutionalized for the rest of her life (although in all likelihood she won't be) but if given the choice, I'd rather be in an institution than prison. Poor Deanna--sorry, I have no sympathy.
Thanks to Mr. Kuffner for pointing out the death qualified jury BUT how did Dietz qualify the difference between Laney and Yates? They both called 911! Yet he testified that Yates was sane and Laney was not.
Dr. Park Deitz, presented false testimony during her (Yates') trial ...
I guess that sums up how much his testimony in the Laney case should be worth. Will he be prosecuted for perjuring himself? Doubtful.
"In appealing her conviction before a three-judge panel of the 1st Court of Appeals, Yates´ attorneys argued that a prosecution witness, Dr. Park Deitz, presented false testimony during her trial by stating that he had consulted on an episode of the NBC television show “Law & Order” in which a woman drowned her children and later was acquitted by reason of insanity.
Jurors learned after Yates was convicted that the episode never existed.
dOCTOR DIETZ SAID ANDREA YATES WAS TOLD BY THE DEVIL DO WHAT SHE DID.THEREFORE SHE KNEW IT WAS WRONG.IF YOU LOOKED AT ALL OF THE VIDEO AND EVIDENCE IN THE DEANNA LANEY TRIAL,AND WATCHED HER REACTION TO TO THE VERDICT,YOU COULD NOT SEND HER TO PRISON.THAT WOULD BE INHUMANE.YOU PEOPLE.YOU PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO RATIONALIZE SOMETHING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!START READING BEFORE YOU QUALIFY YOURSELF TO VOICE YOUR INVALID OPINIONS.!!!!!
I believe that andrea yates was very mentally ill'she was seeing a phyciatrist for over 2 years she had a depression disorder' she was having visions that was very real to her.She was paranoid she was in bad need of proper diagnosis and medication which she never recieved.The doctors dont take these things serious until something like this happens and then they try to pass the buck.
I was thankful to see that the jury in the Laney trial found her not guilty by reason of insanity. I can be hoped therefore that the Yates verdict can be overturned.
It is beyond my reasoning that anyone could believe that a mother killed her children, in any way, if she were sane.
Thank goodness for that jury...it would have been a misscarriage of justice to have sent that lady to prison.
I was on the jury panel that acquitted Ms. Laney. This was not an easy decision and the verdict was right. We the jury found that after numerous expert wittnesses and listening to the 911 call and viewing the interrogation video and listening to all of the family wittnesses, that there was no possible way this woman knew that what she did was wrong at the time that she did it. You would have had to have been there in order to see and hear everything that we heard in order to form a solid opinion of the case. I hope in my life, I never sit on another trial like this.
The decision to let Ms. Laney "off" the hook is unreasonable. If a man had done it, they would have rolled the death table out to him.
To be honest, I really don't care whether she was sane or insane, she took the lives of those precious, innocent babies and permanently disabled the other baby. I think that if God told her to kill her boys, he needs to tell her to hang herself, and that's exactly what I hope she does! I hope she never sees the free world again!