A Troubled Mother Faces Murder Charges in Her Young Children’s Deaths

“Society,” he added, “is way ahead of the law here.”

More than two dozen countries have laws decreasing penalties and providing psychiatric care for mothers who kill children under the age of 1. In 2018, Illinois was the first U.S. state to pass a law making postpartum illness a mitigating factor in sentencing.

Ms. Clancy posted frequently on social media, leaving behind a trail of family snapshots and updates on her mental health. In one post, last fall, she described an adverse reaction to Zoloft, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, which she wrote had left her with such “extreme insomnia” and lack of appetite that she stopped taking it.

Over the four months preceding the killings, Mr. Reddington said, she had been prescribed 13 psychiatric medications, an assortment of benzodiazepines, antidepressants, mood stabilizers and Ambien, which is used as a sleep aid.

“This continued even up until the week before when her husband went to the doctor and asked her for help and said, ‘Please, you’re turning her into a zombie,’” he said at a hearing last week. At Tuesday’s arraignment, he said she had been suffering from postpartum depression, “as well as a possibility of postpartum psychosis that is pretty much ignored.”

Prosecutors, meanwhile, cast the killings as carefully planned.

Using data from Ms. Clancy’s phone, Ms. Sprague described at length how Ms. Clancy had spent the afternoon of Jan. 24 — making a snowman with her children and taking photos that she sent to her mother and husband. Then, at 4:13 p.m., she searched for a restaurant to order takeout, using Apple maps to calculate how long it would take to drive to the restaurant and back.

At 4:53, she texted Mr. Clancy, who was working from a home office in the basement, and asked him to pick up the food — a Mediterranean power bowl for her, scallop and pork belly risotto for him. They had a 14-second call at 5:34 p.m., which Mr. Clancy described as unremarkable, though “she seemed like she was in the middle of something.”

When Mr. Clancy returned to the house, shortly after 6 p.m., he was confused to find it quiet, Ms. Sprague said. Setting down the containers and climbing up to the second floor, he forced open the door of the master bedroom to discover blood on the floor and an open window.

source: nytimes.com