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Wis. parents who declined treatment for dying daughter appeal to court

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A Wisconsin couple who prayed while their daughter slowly died of diabetes will try Tuesday to persuade the state Supreme Court to overturn their homicide convictions, the Associated Press reports. They argue that state law protects them from prosecution, given their religious beliefs.

The 11-year-old daughter of Dale and Leilani Neumann, of Weston, in central Wisconsin, got sick in March 2008. Relying on "faith healing," the family prayed, believing that Madeline Kara Neumann was under spiritual attack. They did not seek medical treatment.

The girl died Easter Sunday of an undiagnosed but treatable form of diabetes. The night before, her parents prayed over the phone with the founder of a religious website, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

In 2009, separate juries convicted the couple of second-degree reckless homicide. They were sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years on probation, but they appealed. WSAW has a PDF of the appeal.

In a similar case in 1991, the Minnesota Supreme Court sided with the parents, the AP notes.

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