(DAILYMAIL) — A mother who was deemed insane after drowning her three-year-old daughter in the bathtub has been allowed to walk free from jail just three years later – because doctors say she regained her sanity.
Jennifer Bigham, from Modesto, California, admitted killing the toddler in 2010 and was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.
After doctors ruled she is now sane, Bigham has been allowed to walk free and was released from jail on Tuesday.
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Pictured in 2010, above, and this week, below
Face that says I’m free: Jennifer Bigham had a beaming smile on her face when she was released from jail on Tuesday after doctors said she regained her sanity
The 26-year-old was pictured smiling in her blue hospital gown as she was released from the hospital.
Two relatives who were in the home at the time of the drowning heard the little girl splash and scream. By the time they got to the bathroom, she was unconscious and Bigham had stabbed herself and locked herself inside a bedroom.
The judge’s decision is said to be extremely rare, especially because the judge did not send her to a psychiatric hospital after the ruling, but to jail.
School of Law Professor John Meyers told CBS: ‘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.’
‘It may seem anomalous to people that a person who murders a child could go “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.’
He said the doctor’s report would have been crucial to the judge’s decision, especially if she was deemed to not be a danger to herself or others.
Prosecutors disagree and are going to appeal the decision.
‘She’s a danger to society,’ said Elaine Casillas, a deputy district attorney, according to the Bee. ‘She’s not been evaluated properly.’
The same doctors who believed Bigham was insane at the time of her toddler’s death re-examined her and testified Tuesday that her sanity is restored.
Source of article: Dailymail.co.uk