The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear arguments in the "prayer death case" involving Dale and Leilani Neumann, whose 11-year-old daughter died from a diabetes condition.
In May 2009, a jury convicted the mother, Leilani, of second degree homicide for killing her daughter because she chose prayer over medical help. In a separate trial, Dale Neumann was charged with reckless homicide for not taking his dying daughter to a doctor, telling police that he believed God would heal her and that he thought she was simply sleeping when she became unconscious. He was found guilty in August. Both faced up to 25 years in prison, but were sentenced to 6 months in jail and 10 years probation.
Doctors at the trial testified that the Neumanns' daughter had a good chance of survival had she received medical attention instead of faith healing.
Last month, an appeals court refused to hear the Neumanns' appeal, asking that the high court take the case. The Supreme Court accepted the case to "determine the scope of the prayer treatment exception" in the state and to inform trial courts the appropriate jury instructions when that exception is raised in a reckless homicide case.
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