Re "Jury Rejects Insanity Claim, Convicts Mother of Murder," March 13: My mother took her own life. She was well aware of what she was doing, but emotional illness altered her perception of the value of her life. Andrea Yates knew what she was doing, but emotional illness had altered her perception of the value of her children's lives.
I feel our system is unjust to define mental illness by a single, simplistic criterion: awareness of what one is doing. Whether Yates' own life proves to be long or short, I take comfort in my belief that she will be pardoned the only way any of us will be, by the just judge who took the penalty phase on himself for all humankind.