This is about Dale & Leilani Neumann, creationists who killed their daughter as a result of a prolonged and agonizing faith-healing program instead of taking her to a doctor for what was a treatable condition.
We first wrote about this deadly duo in Damn You! Damn You All To Hell!, after we learned that the mother had been convicted of the girl’s death. When her husband was convicted in a separate trial we wrote Dale & Leilani Neumann: The Wages of Stupid. In that post we pointed out that their sect, Pentecostalism, is definitely creationist.
Our last post about them was Freak Sentence for Dale & Leilani Neumann, in which we reported that a judge — apparently sympathetic to the beliefs of the parents — sentenced them to only six months — six months! –to be served one month a year for the next six years. And he told the parents that they were “very good people.”
That was in October of 2009; then we lost track of the tale. But it’s back in the news. We found this at the BBC website: US ‘prayer cure’ couple lose appeal over child’s death. M’god — they had been appealing their conviction! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The reckless homicide conviction of a couple whose daughter died after they tried to treat her with prayer, denying her medical help, has been upheld. By 6-1, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled that a law protecting Dale and Leilani Neumann from child abuse charges did not cover their daughter’s death.
A law protecting them — those two? — from child abuse charges? What’s that all about? We’re told:
The Neumanns’ lawyers argued that Wisconsin child abuse laws granted criminal immunity to “prayer-healing” parents, even to the point of creating substantial risk of death.
Hey — family values! What did the state argue? Let’s read on:
Wisconsin lawyers argued that such protection ends when parents realise a child is at serious risk of death.
So it’s okay to pray over a sprained ankle, but it’s not legal to deny reality to the point of death. We continue:
The family first began to pray after Kara became very tired and pale, and her legs turned blue. They continued to do so as their daughter’s conditioned worsened, disregarding suggestions from Leilani Neumann’s mother to bring Kara to a doctor.
We know that from our earlier posts. Here’s more:
Kara slipped into a coma and died. Emergency room officials testified the girl’s condition was easily treatable and her chances of survival had been high “well into the day of her death”.
They say faith can move mountains. Perhaps, but from what we see here, faith can also kill little girls. On with the story:
Dale Neumann testified during his trial that he never thought his daughter would die, and believed that even if she did, Jesus would bring her back from the dead, much like the biblical story of Lazarus.
Didn’t work out very well, did it, Dale?
There’s more to the BBC story, so click over there for the details. Meanwhile, here’s the opinion of the Wisconsin Supreme Court: Wisconson v. Neumann. A quick scan reveals that the statute the prayerful parents were arguing about is 948.03(6), which says:
Treatment through prayer. A person is not guilty of an offense under this section solely because he or she provides a child with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the religious method of healing permitted under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 4. or 448.03 (6) in lieu of medical or surgical treatment.
We’re not going to go chasing through those other statutes. It’s probably all covered in the court’s opinion. Now that the appeal’s over, the righteous couple can start serving their cruel six-month sentence — one month a year. We hope they don’t find it too inconvenient.
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