July 3, 2013
Prayer Death Case Stands: Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Conviction

A "prayer death case" ruling has been upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, according to a Wednesday report from WXOW.com.

The court ruled that a Weston, Wisconsin mother and father who chose prayer for their dying daughter instead of seeking qualified medical help were properly convicted of homicide, the network website noted.

Dale and Leilani Neumann faced separate trials in the death of 11-year-old daughter Madeline Kara Neumann (a.k.a. Kara). For the last three years, the Neumann's have stayed out of jail thanks to the appeals court process, and they may still appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

And while it's plausible the Neumann's could continue to seek exoneration in the prayer death case, with a sentence of just six months in jail and 10 years probation, it may not be worth it.

"They were disappointed … They were hoping to win and this is hard for them to hear," said Byron Lichstein, Leilani's attorney.

Kara became ill in 2008 -- neither WXOW nor WAOW clarified the nature of the child's illness -- and her parents chose to trust in "the power of God to heal the sick" instead of seeking aid from a doctor. The Neumanns' attorneys argued state law protects parents from child abuse charges if they choose prayer healing for an ailing child instead of traditional medicine. They noted the law ends when a child shows signs of getting worse, but the Neumanns' daughter had shown signs of improvement, and they were unaware death was imminent.

State attorneys took the position that the Neumann's had a duty to seek medical attention.

In another faith-healing related murder charge, Philadelphia woman Catherine Schaible is currently out on bail as she and husband Herbert await their murder trial in the death of their 2-year-old son Kent, who died of pneumonia after the Schaibles would not seek medical attention.

According to Nelson Clark, the Schaibles' pastor, the couple believed that calling anyone for help would have been a denial of faith in God to heal the child.

In the Wisconsin prayer death case, do you think the Wisconsin Supreme Court made the right call upholding the convictions?

[Image via WAOW]