Postpartum depression is recognized as a legal defense in at least 29 countries, including Great Britain, Canada, Italy and Australia, Oberman said. Those countries have infanticide laws, which state that when a woman kills a child under the age of 1 and she can prove that the "balance of her mind is disturbed" by reasons relating to giving birth, the maximum charge the woman can face is manslaughter.Strange. Andrea Yates drowned her kids, and just got a new trial.
"The practical result of these statutes is that these women receive probation instead of jail time and they receive sentences that require probation plus counseling," Oberman said. In those cases, she added, the women do not have to prove the much higher standard of insanity.
The laws vary between countries, with some covering a woman who killed any of her children, while other nations' laws only cover the killing of a newborn, Oberman said.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Baby killers get off easy
CNN story from 2002: