Jennifer Bigham, the mother who killed her 3-year-old daughter by drowning her in the bathtub, was released from prison yesterday, because doctors are claiming she's regained her sanity. (Note: The doctors who have made this claim are the same doctors who originally deemed her insane.) After a psychiatric evaluation, a judge ordered Bigham to be freed almost three years to the day after she was placed in a California jail. The 26-year-old woman, who can't be tried for murder and child abuse again because of double jeopardy protections, was seen smiling broadly yesterday as she walked out of the prison in a blue hospital gown.
I'm confused here.
I'm not a psychiatrist or a lawyer or a judge, and I don't know what exactly what went into this mental health evaluation, but this whole thing just seems ... weird. I.E., if a person is deemed insane to begin with, why are they put in a jail as opposed to a mental institution? I.E., how does a person who drowned their 3-year-old child walk around a free woman? I.E., how is a person "cured" of insanity? (I know there's "temporary insanity", but doesn't this instance seem extreme?)
Like I said, more than anything, I'm just confused. From what I've gathered, this is an incredibly unusual case, and I'm sure there are details that haven't been released to the public/that are way over my head. But my knee-jerk reaction is to agree with Elaine Casillas, a deputy district attorney, who said: "She's a danger to society. She's not been evaluated properly." But I really hope I'm wrong.
What do you think of this?