Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Fate of Amanda Watkins?

Amanda Duboise Watkins is pictured above in April 1997 when she was a reporter for the TimesDaily. Family of the teacher stated in court yesterday that her personality began to change almost exactly 12 years later. Health care professionals have testified that Watkins has four to five distinct "mental illnesses," among them depression, unfortunately a very common disorder in our highly imperfect world.

After looking at the photos of Watkins that have appeared in both the TimesDaily and on the WHNT website, we have to ask if Amanda Watkins is now heavily medicated? Any criminal defense attorney will tell you he or she advises clients to appear in court wearing their Sunday best--not a tee-shirt, jeans, and a hoodie. The images of the former Sheffield Junior High teacher also show her sans makeup and with shaggy unkempt hair falling over her face. Her mother appears to be supporting her physically. This is not an image of a women who is in control of her life.

Should Watkins go to prison? Apparently her husband Carter Watkins has reconciled with her. There will hardly be any school systems clamoring to hire Amanda Duboise Watkins given her past indiscretions, no matter whom her father may know in the AEA. A conviction (requiring her to register as a sex offender) with probation and mandated psychiatric treatment would seem to be in order. No, it was not a victimless crime, but sending her to prison will not help her family to heal.