No surprise, today Yoselyn Ortega was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. Here is the media coverage.
Tabloids had labeled her the "killer nanny."
The two children in her care whom she slaughtered were offspring of a Manhattan Upper West Side sophisticated couple. Both mother and father spoke at the sentencing.
Some of those who have learned even just a little about mental illness have been distressed that the jury and later those overseeing the sentencing didn't cut Ortega some slack for possible psychosis.
Sure, she may have harbored festering resentments against her employers. But had she been sound in mind she wouldn't have committed such inhuman acts of murdering the children she cared for and then deeply slashing her own throat. Her life was only saved because the mother arrived home, put on a bandage to control the bleeding, and sent for emergency help.
The normal - that is, not psychotic - response to perceived mistreatment would have been to look for another job, then quit abruptly. That would have left the family, with its busy schedule, in chaos. Sweet revenge.
In fictional television crime shows such as and "Law & Order SVU" and "Criminal Minds," those with mental illness often receive more understanding and compassion than Ortega has.
In my own extended family severe mental illness was pervasive. Fortunately, for those with psychiatric disorders, there were others around to prevent them from extreme violence. Ortega didn't have such gatekeepers in her daily life.
This seems to be a very sad day in the American legal system. Both the conviction and the sentencing seem to be about revenge, not justice.
Contact Jane Genova firstname.lastname@example.org.