Wisconsin court upholds parents' convictions in prayer death

Wed Jul 3, 2013 9:56am EDT

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(Reuters) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the homicide convictions of a mother and father who prayed for their dying daughter instead of seeking medical care.

Madeline Neumann, 11, died in 2008 from undiagnosed diabetes at her home in Weston, Wisconsin. Her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, were convicted in separate trials of second-degree reckless homicide.

The couple's lawyers appealed the convictions. They contended that state law allowed the Neumanns, who identify themselves as Pentecostal Christians, to treat the girl's illness with prayer and protected them from being charged with child abuse.

The Neumanns' attorneys also alleged in part that jury instructions were erroneous.

In a 6-1 decision, the justices ruled that state laws on child abuse and reckless homicide "provide sufficient notice that the parents' conduct could have criminal consequences if their daughter died."

The justices also ruled that the jury instructions were correct.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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Comments (13)
MooMooLiz wrote:
As a Christian I find what these parents did extremely offensive. Nowhere in the Bible does it say not to get medical treatment. I mean, God made doctors right? These are the kind of people who give my religion a bad name. Insulin is a readily available treatment that a GP can start, this is sheer negligence.

Jul 03, 2013 10:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JasonQuick312 wrote:
I doubt you are a real Christian; nevertheless, open your eyes people. Why do you think that all of these state-sponsored media outlets are polarizing this topic when they could be covering NSA, IRS, Syria, Al-Qaeda, Taliban-USA Relations, and more!?? It’s called a distraction and they are desperate to make it work.

In terms of this case, the parents have the right to seek whatever treatment they want. Now move on to more important matters.

Jul 03, 2013 11:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
fishanddive wrote:
MooMooLiz, It is hard work and education that makes doctors, not God, just saying…

Jul 03, 2013 11:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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