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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Law And Order Episode And Andrea Yates Appeal

Law And Order Episode And Andrea Yates Appeal - The murder conviction of Andrea Yates, who is serving a life sentence for drowning three of her five children, was overturned today by a Texas appeals court because of a psychiatrist’s false testimony. Psychiatrist Park Dietz testified at Yates’s 2002 trial that TV’s “Law & Order” aired an episode in which a female character was found insane after drowning her children in a bathtub. During closing arguments, the prosecution said Yates watched “Law & Order” “regularly” and may have considered the show described by Dietz as “a way out” if she killed her children.

It was determined after the trial that NBC had, in fact, never aired such a program. The Texas First Court of Appeals of Houston said in its ruling today that Dietz’s inaccurate testimony was material to Yates’s conviction.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Joe Owmby didn’t immediately return a phone call from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

Dietz, who did consulting work for NBC’s “Law & Order,”’ said the program in which the female character was found insane aired before Yates killed her children in 2001.

The appeals court wrote in its opinion that while Dietz did not suggest Yates used the show’s plot as a blueprint for killing her children, “the state did in its closing argument.”

Yates’s attorneys argued during her trial in Houston that the stay-at-home mom was under psychiatric care when she killed her children on June 20, 2001, and didn’t know right from wrong.

Police found the wet bodies of Yates’s 6-month-old daughter, Mary, and sons Luke, 2; Paul, 3; and John, 5, on a bed, covered by a sheet. Her oldest child, 7-year-old Noah, was found dead in the bathtub.

In March 2002, a jury found Yates guilty after deliberating for less than four hours. She was sentenced to life in prison three days later.

Law And Order Episode And Andrea Yates Appeal Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn


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