Lawyers to ask state Supreme Court to rule in prayer death - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Lawyers to ask state Supreme Court to rule in prayer death

Dale Neumann Dale Neumann
Lelani Neumann Lelani Neumann

MADISON (WKOW) -- State supreme court justices Tuesday heard arguments over the homicide convictions of two Weston parents, whose 11-year old daughter died after they chose prayer over medical care to try to help the ill child.

Attorneys for parents Dale and Leilani Neumann said the couple never received notice the immunity in child abuse law to allow for prayer treatment did not extend to the circumstances of their daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann.

Neumann died from uncontrolled diabetes on March 23, 2008.

Attorneys for the parents also said the trial judge failed to approve jury instructions to include the standard of care expected of parents who relied on prayer instead of conventional medicine.

But an assistant attorney general said the parents should have known any immunity from legal responsibility for choosing prayer over medical procedures ended when the girl's condition deteriorated and prayer alone was creating an unreasonable, grave health risk.

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 MADISON (AP) - Attorneys for a Wisconsin couple who prayed while their young daughter died in front of them of treatable diabetes are set to try to persuade the state Supreme Court to clear the couple of any wrongdoing.

According to court documents, Dale and Leilani Neumann's daughter became gravely ill in March 2008. Rather than seek medical attention, the Weston couple prayed over her until she died Easter Sunday. Separate juries convicted both of them of second-degree reckless homicide.

The couple's lawyers maintain Wisconsin statutes permitting parents to treat their children through prayer protects them from prosecution even if the child dies. Prosecutors contend the right doesn't extend to inflicting death.

The two sides are scheduled to present oral arguments to the court Tuesday.

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