Is anyone else confused about the verdicts in several high-profile cases decided lately?
When Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller were convicted for the dog mauling of a Diane Whipple, it makes me wonder about our justice system.
Whipple‘s tragic death was probably avoidable and certainly the dog owners deserve punishment - but life imprisonment? No matter what you think about any display of cold-heartedness and negligence by the defendants, Whipple‘s death was a terrible accident. There is no evidence that Noel and Knoller ordered or allowed the dogs to attack anyone. Diane Whipple was not murdered.
On the other hand, Andrea Yates was convicted of murdering her five children and also received a life sentence. Is Marjorie Knoller‘s crime of inadequate pet control equal to Andrea Yates methodically drowning each of her children? I don‘t think anyone of sound mind can argue that Knoller‘s acts begin to approach the magnitude of Yates‘.
And how does Yates avoid capital punishment in Texas, a state that is known for frying the accused and asking questions later? Yates‘ mental state was not factored into her case, so the court concluded that Yates knew what she was doing during the crime.
If so, if anyone ever deserved the death penalty, it was Andrea Yates. Her case is one more example of why capital punishment should be banned. It never has been, nor will it ever be applied fairly.