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Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear arguments in prayer death case

Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear arguments in prayer death case

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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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Johnson/578763485 Robert Johnson

    This tragic case, and hundreds of others just like it, clearly demonstrate the need for a revolution in religion as the Deist Thomas Paine called for in The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition. The only way to save the lives of the innocent children is to reach their sincere Christian parents. The best way to do that is to educate them to the fact that God gave us reason and not religion. Once they realize this they then also realize they must make the choice between following a man-made "revealed" religion which violates their gift from God of reason, or follow God by embracing and using their God-given reason. Since the vast majority of people involved in the "revealed" religions belong to the "revealed" religion because they falsely believe it is promoting God's word and they want to please God. Once they realize God gave us reason and not religion they will follow their reason and the children will be safe.

    Progress! Bob Johnson
    http://www.deism.com

  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    Hopefully the Supreme Court will still throw the book at these (and I use the word loosely, with reservation, and revulsion) "parents".

  • http://www.donnyrothbardt.vpweb.com/ Donny

    Faith healing can be a two edged sword. No one can blame the "faithful" for employing their religious faith in hopes of healing their families. However, if a person is warned that a sick person in their care may die if they refuse medical help, those responsible should be prosecuted at least for manslaughter. Intentions need to be considered.
    Let's face it, there are many times that the state needs to override a parent's or relative's choices. The lesser of two evils, maybe?
    Donny

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