Parents in faith-healing death sentenced to probation; 30 days jail per year for 6 years

Parents each faced up to 25 years in prison

Dale and Leilani Neumann, each convicted separately on second-degree reckless homicide charges in the faith-healing death of their daughter Madeline Neumann, were today sentenced.

According to the Wausau Daily Herald, Judge Vincent Howard has recommended a withheld sentence and 10 years of probation with conditions. Howard has ordered jail time as a condition of probation.

Each parents will also serve 30 days in jail a year for the next six years.

In addition, Their surviving children will be subject to regular and random health checkups until they reach the age of 18.. They must also seek medical attention if it meets requirements set out by Howard., as well as Submit a DNA sample and pay restitution.

Reporter Jeff Starck of the Wausau Daily Herald, blogging live from the court room, reported some of the comments made by Judge Howard before he handed down his sentence:

Howard said the US Constitution protects a person’s right to believe in a religion, but not necessarily the conduct and practice of that religion. As an example, Howard said people can have the belief in human sacrifice protected, but not the practice of human sacrifice.

Howard said there is one God, but people hear many different voices from that God. Howard said religion and law are similar in that they are both can be interpreted in many different ways.

Howard also showed his knowledge of the Bible when he said Jesus chose Luke, who had been a physician at the time, to be an apostle.

“God must have trusted at least that doctor,” Howard said.

– Source / Full Story: Live Blog: Neumann sentencing today, Wausau Daily Herald, Oct. 6, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Both parents spoke to the judge at their sentencing hearing, calling Kara’s death an act of God, reading Biblical passages, and saying the only thing they’re guilty of is following their faith.

“Dale and I acted with love toward our daughter to the best way we could have, in the best way we could, because we love her,” Leilani Neumann testified.

“Even if she would have been taken to the hospital, as everyone thinks should have been the case, there’s only hypothetical speculation. There’s no substantiating facts, just hypothetical speculation as to whether she would have even lived,” Dale Neumann said.

The judge called the Nuemanns good people who made a reckless decision.

– Source / Full Story: Judge Gives Probation to Parents in Prayer-death Case, ABC WBAY, Oct. 6, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Our view

As Christians, the publishers of Religion News Blog consider the faith healing views and claims of Dale and Leilani Neumann to be un-Biblical. In our view they acted irresponsibly, based on incorrect interpretations of Scripture.

See Also

About faith healing
Mother of girl who died after faith healing attempts posts on site that calls doctors dangerous
Police: Girl died as parents prayed instead of seeking help

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday October 6, 2009.
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