Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Praying Couple Sentenced in Child's Death, a Wisconsin web site, reports on the sentencing of the couple who allowed their 11-year-old daughter to die by not seeking medical help, all the while praying over her.
Marathon County Judge Vincent Howard crafted a unique sentence Tuesday for Dale and Leilani Neumann, who prayed instead of seeking medical care for their dying 11-year-old daughter.

Howard placed the Weston couple on probation for 10 years each and ordered that both serve 30 days a year in jail for the next six years. However, he stayed the jail terms pending appeals.

The Neumanns were convicted at separate trials of second-degree reckless homicide in Madeline Kara Neumann's March 2008 death from undiagnosed diabetes and could have received up to 25 years in prison.

Under terms of the sentence, the two parents would serve their jail sentences at different times. One would serve time in March and the other in September.

The probation, which begins immediately, includes having the Neumanns' surviving children undergo regular and random health checks until they reach the age of 18, and seeking medical attention if their three surviving children become seriously ill or injured.

I guess that fourth paragraph means they would serve their jail sentences at different times if they end up serving them. The second paragraph says those sentences were "stayed" pending appeals.

What's your opinion? Is this a fair sentence? I often write about people who let their kids kill themselves with guns and wonder if any jail time is just that much overkill since they've already suffered such a great loss. Would that kind of leniency apply here, do you think?

What about the fact that they may have been sincere in their beliefs about healing? Would that mitigate the culpability?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

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