Jennifer Bingham drowned her 3-year-old baby girl in 2010, and just three years later she is walking free.
Initially deemed insane, a Stanislaus County judge now says she has regained her sanity, thus securing her freedom. Bingham admitted to killing her little girl three years ago in court and was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
“I understand why people would be upset, but what you have to understand is a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, means not guilty,” University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Prof. John Meyers told CBS Sacramento.
Bingham faced the easier fate with the verdict of insanity. And when the time came, instead of sending her to a mental hospital, a pair of doctors said she had regained her sanity. She was released on Tuesday.
“It may seem anomalous to people that a person who murders a child could go quote ‘free’ after three years, but what people need to remember is that if it’s a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, don’t forget the not guilty part,” Meyers explained, adding that the doctors’ report likely played a big role in the judge’s decision.
He went on: “Since we found you not guilty, we can only keep you in the hospital as long as you’re a danger to yourself or others; and once a person is no longer dangerous, they have an absolute right to be released.”
It’s unclear whether the district attorney’s office will take any further action in the case.
(H/T: Daily Mail)