can open, worms everywhere...
I definitely think Rusty (the ex-husband) shouldn't have walked away with no punishment of any kind. I had a classmate at the time who was interning at the jail where Andrea was kept. The classmate knew more about Rusty and the situation than she could share due to confidentiality reasons. She led us to believe (as I already suspected on my own) that there were some fishy things going on there. I was interning at Houston Area Women's Center at the time. When you work there you can get into a different frame of mind. You see and hear a lot. Many people there were suspicious of Rusty, too. Regardless, I think there's more to it related to him than we've seen in the media.
Despite an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology, I have a hard time with labels. There are books written and courses offered about the definition of "mentally ill." If all my books weren't in storage I could quote some things for you here. How do you define it? One of the definitions was behaving in a way that was not typical of people in the society in which you were living. If that is the case, I think that holds true for Andrea. Not many (and yet too many) people kill their children in our society.
The insanity defense is weird in my opinion. It would mean that the person basically isn't held accountable for his or her actions. One can say the same thing regarding children. They don't have the cognitive abilities of an "average" adult. But with children we expect someone to be responsible for them. (Again, this is often not the case.) I think it was clear that Andrea suffered from postpartum depression. The media reported that she was diagnosed with it not just after the birth of her last child. She had it after the birth of child number 4 and yet was encouraged to get pregnant again. Who was taking the responsibility for her? For the new baby? For the other children?
Regardless of your position, the story is an incredibly sad one. One that I think could have been prevented.