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Parents Who Tried to Heal Daughter with Prayer Seek to Overturn Reckless Homicide Convictions

Posted Dec 5, 2012 10:34 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Lawyers for a Wisconsin couple asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court in oral arguments on Tuesday to overturn their convictions for an unsuccessful effort to heal their daughter with prayer.

Dale and Leilani Neumann were convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in separate trials in 2009, report the Associated Press and MyFoxWausau.com. They prayed but did not seek medical help for their daughter, who died on Easter 2008 as a result of undiagnosed diabetes.

Lawyers for the couple point to a state law protecting those who use prayer healing from child abuse charges. They say the law protects parents who create a substantial risk of death, making it difficult to know when the situation exposes them to other criminal charges.

A lawyer for the state says the legal immunity ends when parents should know a child is at risk of death.

The Neumanns were each sentenced to six months in jail, to be served one month a year over a six-year period.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Prayerful Wisconsin Parents to be Charged in Death of Diabetic Daughter”

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