Protecting Killers

I wrote some time ago about Leilani and Dale Neumann. They thought it appropriate to only pray for their diabetic daughter. They did not take her to get diagnosed, and when her health became grave, they continued in their quest to neglect her. They deserve to be put in prison; they have other children, not to mention the fact that not convicting them would encourage more parents to neglect their children through the meaninglessness of prayer.

Well, there’s good news and bad news. They were convicted earlier this year. Unfortunately, despite the fact that a jury decided these people were guilty of second-degree reckless homicide, the judge gave them a slap on the wrist. He sentenced them to 6 months in prison with 10 years of probation. The 6 months will be served over the course of 6 years – just one month a year. Compare this to the maximum they could have received – 25 years each – and it’s obvious that justice has not been served.

There are two mitigating factors to be noted, neither of which had a legal bearing on this particular case. The first is that Wisconsin is one of 30 states that protect faith-healing monsters. The law did not apply in this case. However, it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t a factor in sentencing. Second, the judge took pity on this couple because of their religion. He gave them an unfounded respect for their wacky and dangerous beliefs. Prayer will cure diabetes as well as it will restore an amputee’s leg.

The above link to their sentencing also cites similar sentence lengths for other, far less offensive crimes.

Russell J. Wozniak Jr. and Jennifer Ann Wozniak, of Chippewa Falls, Wis., received basically the same sentence as the Neumanns for, the criminal complaint said, allowing their 2-year-old to wander around covered in vomit and wearing a full diaper.

It’s absurd to pretend that the death of Kara Neumann is at all equal to what the Wozniak’s did. They had a child in a bad situation. So did the Neumanns. The difference is that the Wozniak’s child is still alive.

Then there are similar cases with differing sentences.

Then there are the parents of Alex Washburn. The 22-month-old died after hitting his head at home in Cross Lanes, W.Va. His parents, Elizabeth Dawn Thornton and Christopher Steven Washburn, said the boy fell a lot and hit his head on the corner of a table and his chin on a toilet. They apologized for not seeking medical help and agreed to terminate their parental rights to their other children, handing over custody to the state. “I wish I did seek medical treatment for my son faster,” Washburn told the court. “That will definitely be with me for the rest of my life.” The court sentenced both parents to three to 15 years in prison.

There are two differences here with the Neumanns. First, religion was not a factor for Thornton’s and Washburn’s actions. Second, Washburn was remorseful. He did not believe what he did was right; he recognized the evil in his actions. In contrast, here is a quote from Neumann.

If I in a moment of crisis and in a moment of time, I went to anyone else but the Lord, it would not have been favorable to God,

Here he has defended his inhumane actions. That should be unacceptable to anyone of rationality. Here is another quote (found in sentencing link).

I am guilty of trusting my Lord’s wisdom completely. . . . Guilty of asking for heavenly intervention. Guilty of following Jesus Christ when the whole world does not understand. Guilty of obeying my God.

As if his lack of regret about his cruelty was not enough, his wife feels the same.

I do not regret trusting truly in the Lord for my daughter’s health.

Really read that. This woman does not regret acting in a way that resulted in her daughter’s avoidable death. If you’re a parent reading this, ask yourself if you could ever say such a horrible thing. Ask yourself if you would ever be proud of behaving in a way that resulted in the death of your child.

6 Responses

  1. :chuckle:

    Mate, you can hire me as an proof reader if you want.

    $2 a post. :)

  2. Americans love killing kids. :|

  3. I found two minor typos. Do you have anything substantial to add?

  4. You wrote “doctor” instead of “daughter” on line 2. :)

    My substance is in the link I provided. If you are prepared to condemn the offense committed by parents who did not act to save their child then surely you can condemn the collaboration of the state and the parents to starve a child to death.


  5. Sure, but I’m concerned with motivation here.

  6. OK.

    So which do you think is worse:
    a) Wrongly neglecting a child because of a bad belief about God, or
    b) Deliberately starving a child to death?

    I think b) is much worse than a). a) is bad and stupid and criminal, but it’s nowhere near as bad as b).

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