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Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Homicide Conviction for Faith-Healing Parents

Without legal standards on child neglect, parents who let their 11-year-old daughter die argued that they were denied free exercise of religion.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the homicide conviction of a faith-healing couple who let their 11-year-old daughter die from diabetes.

In its 6-1 decision, the court ruled that, "by failing to call for medical assistance when (their daughter Kara) was seriously ill and in a coma-like condition…the parents were creating an unreasonable and substantial risk of Kara's death, were subjectively aware of that risk, and caused her death," according to the majority opinion by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

The court's decision to uphold a lower court's charge of second-degree reckless homicide comes four years after parents Dale and Leilani Neumann were convicted for their daughter's 2008 death from lack of insulin. The Neumanns argued that the charges violated their exercise of religious freedom protected under the First Amendment.

According to The Associated Press, judge Vincent Howard originally ruled that while the Neumanns were free to ...

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