OK, Jesus Loved the Little Children. Now Stop Sacrificing Them To Him.

Maybe you recall this perfectly maddening case (if you do, skip ahead for a good-news update):

[A]n 11-year-old girl named Madeline Kara Neumann [photo], known as Kara to family and friends… died of undiagnosed diabetes on Easter Sunday in March 2008 at her home in Weston, a central Wisconsin village about 140 miles north of Madison.

Kara, who had been growing weak for several weeks leading up to her death, eventually became too sick to speak, eat, drink or walk. Her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, don’t belong to any organized religion or church but identify themselves as Pentecostal Christians and believe visiting a doctor is akin to worshipping an idol. …

Dale Neumann testified that the possibility of death never entered their minds. After the girl died, Leilani Neumann told police God would raise Kara from the dead.

For some reason, that didn’t happen.

So the parents’ defense, in court, was that they had no idea how sick their daughter was. Of course, that smacks of circular reasoning: a proper diagnosis typically requires a medical examination and a physician’s expert interpretation. If you deliberately forego those things, you’re going to stay in the dark.

Not surprisingly, the jury wasn’t moved, and in 2009 the couple was found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide. They faced up to 25 years behind bars.

But guess what? The judge took pity on them, and gave them a sentence that I highly doubt would be available to non-theists. Not only did he order them to serve only six months; each parent would have to go to prison just one month each year. One spouse went every March, the other every September.

If I were in their shoes, I’d be thanking the Lord Jesus, the Easter Bunny, and all the lucky stars in the galaxy for such leniency. But the Neumanns were (get this) miffed. Their lawyers argued up to the state Supreme Court that the couple is owed religious immunity from criminal culpability in Kara’s death.

And they got nowhere.

The court announced its ruling yesterday, and it is a resounding defeat for the prayer-healers:

The decision marks the first time a Wisconsin court has addressed criminal culpability in a prayer treatment case where a child died. The court ruled 6-1 that the state’s immunity provisions for prayer-treatment parents protect them from child abuse charges but nothing else, opening the door to a host of other counts.


We could focus on how insane it is that the child-abuse exemption for faith healers exists in most states’ laws, but that’s a discussion for another day. The Wisconsin court neatly did an end run around the exemption: while implicitly affirming that statute, the justices still said that manslaughter or homicide charges may be laid on parents who let their kids die due to religion-inspired negligence.

Now, if we could please have proper sentences to go along with that (maybe serial child killers Catherine and Herbert Schaible, despite their cloying piety, will actually go to jail for many years)…

(Kara Neumann photo by Butch McCartney/Wassau Daily Herald, via the New York Times)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    That lenient sentence is a disgrace. Lock them up for 25 years. They shouldn’t be allowed any further children either, they are obviously unfit.

  • C Peterson

    Prison seems wrong for this crime. Community service for a number of years (not at a church) and sterilization would seem more appropriate.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    People who kill people are sent to prison. Why make exceptions with parents? Or ever? Let them spend 25 years in a real Hell. And that’s nothing compared to the number of years they stole from their daughter.

  • C Peterson

    Well, I don’t necessarily consider prison the appropriate place to send all people who kill other people. I think prison should largely be reserved for people who are truly bad, and represent a danger to others. Prison is overused.

    These parents were stupid and wrongheaded. They lack the knowledge and ability to be parents. But there was no intent to kill or injure. They believed- foolishly- that they were doing the right thing. This was involuntary manslaughter, not first degree murder. I simply don’t see what value is served by sending them to prison. Take away their ability to be parents, and make them do some good to society around them. That need not be a light punishment.

  • TrickQuestion

    intent or not, the little girl died from their actions. They are responsible, They were willfully not doing anything to help their girl as she got worse and worse. It wasn’t involuntary- there was a conscious denial of assistance to their child. I see what they did as no different than them starving her to death. Willful, preventable, and deliberate actions by the parents caused the death. In no way was it involuntary.

  • C Peterson

    Well, voluntary versus involuntary can be a fine line. Regardless, it doesn’t change my view that prison isn’t the appropriate punishment for this type of crime.

  • Miss_Beara

    Jury got it right but the judge got it very wrong. Do they have any other children? I sure hope not but if they do, they need to get them out of there or else they are next. It doesn’t matter that they thought God was actually going to heal her. They sat there and watched their 11 year old daughter slowly die. They deserved 25 years. 1 month a year is practically religious immunity. Give a sob story to a judge, throw a few bible verses, mention God at least 10 times and VOILA! 25 years magically turns into 1 month a year.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Some Judges are just complete asshats. You can rape a child in Maine and get less than 5 years. How some Judges are able to sleep at night I don’t understand.

  • C Peterson

    I certainly agree that the sentence they received was grossly wrong.

  • midnight rambler

    If their actions weren’t voluntary then they wouldn’t be punishable at all. The “involuntary” part is that they were not intended to cause harm.

    Intent and motive are completely ingrained into our justice system. It’s part of the same reason we don’t punish equally someone who runs a red light and kills a person in a car crash, and someone who carefully plans and carries out a murder, even though they both killed someone through deliberate actions.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    Prison is overused, I can agree with you there. But they were criminally negligent and deserve prison, in my opinion. This is a very manageable condition, and it’s hardly rare or hard to detect. A five second Google search would have given them the information they needed. But i guess that would be “taking glory away from God”. Lunacy. It takes a lunatic to watch their child die without even going to a doctor.

  • David

    What the fuck is wrong with you, America? CHILD-ABUSE EXCEPTION FOR FAITH HEALERS!!!???? WHAT THE FUCK?

    The whole one-month-a-year sentence reminds me of the kind of whimsical punishments you get in fairytales. In fact the whole thing is some sick, twisted fairy tale. I’m glad I’m not American right now.

  • Baby_Raptor

    This is what happens when you completely erase the fact that children are people, and run with the completely false idea that parents have “rights” to their kids, and “rights” to indoctrinate them.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    In Texas, it’s legal to hurt someone if you’re exorcising demons from him/her. Because anything else would hinder the exorcist’s religious freedom. No kidding, it’s true, the state’s Supreme Court said so.

    Imagine this kind of interrogation in the Lone Star State:

    Perp: Yes officer, I admit it, I killed him.
    Detective: So what happened? [Takes out pad, gets ready to write.]
    P: I couldn’t help it.
    D: The shotgun went off accidentally?
    P: Oh no. I pointed it at him and pulled the trigger.
    D: Why are you telling me this?
    P: Because you need to know what I was doing.
    D: And what was that?
    P: I was exorcising a demon from him.
    D: With a .12-gauge?
    P: Yes, officer.
    D: Oh, all right. [Puts pad away.] Have a nice day then … and Praise God!
    P: Praise God!!!

  • Nicholas

    Christians have every problem with abortion, but once a child is born, “Fuck it! They deserve to die because…Jesus!”

  • Quintin van Zuijlen

    Parents have no rights on their kids, but a duty to care for them, which the kids have a right to.

  • smrnda

    Except in the US, there’s this obsession with ‘parent’s rights’ which is why we won’t ratify the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child in this backwards country. Of course, parents’ rights really just mean the right for adults to abuse kids in the name of religion.

  • C Peterson

    That was the traditional Western view of children until just a couple hundred years ago, and remains the view of many followers of the Abrahamic religions.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “I think prison should largely be reserved for people who are truly bad, and represent a danger to others.”

    So, two people who willingly sacrificed their child to Jesus, is somehow not a danger to anyone else? If they were so indifferent to their daughter’s life as to allow her to die, then how much more indifferent do you think they’ll be toward others?

    Re: “I simply don’t see what value is served by sending them to prison.”

    It’s called “punishment,” and “making an example of them.”

    Re: “Take away their ability to be parents, and make them do some good to society around them.”

    A legal system that doesn’t possess the fortitude to punish these two, certainly is not going to order them sterilized. So let’s dispose of that proposed solution.

    As for “doing good for society,” what if they choose their “community service” to be going around the country to various churches, telling their story? How will they not end up being lauded for it, each time they speak? And if all they get is praise from the pews for having the faith of Abraham (see Gen 22:1-18), what kind of punishment is that? And what good does it do for society?

    Re: “That need not be a light punishment.”

    Huh? How is that? Isn’t “community service” what courts dole out in place of real punishment, to people they’d rather not punish? What’s the point of “community service,” if not to grant someone a light punishment?

  • Terry Firma

    Ben ik helemaal met je eens!

  • onamission5

    Denying a child medical treatment for a perfectly manageable condition is akin to starving your child to death because you believe manna will fall out of the sky. Negligent homicide at the very least.
    The parents asked for emergency prayer because their daughter was unable to walk or speak. That tells me they knew very well their child’s condition was serious, regardless of what they pleaded in court. Anything they did after that is deliberate abuse and negligence.

  • Matt

    C Peterson, prison is clearly a place for emotion-driven retribution. Not a place to send actually dangerous people. What are you some sort of crazy determinist?

  • C Peterson

    So, we have different ideas about punishment. In this case, prison seems much more like revenge than justice. These people were idiots, but they did not intend to do harm. Nothing makes me think they pose a danger to anyone but their own children. Putting them in prison merely adds to the damage they have already done. They will be removed as contributors. They will become expensive wards of the state for years, and emerge as useless, ruined, and very possibly dangerous people. There will be no deterrent value.

    Far better, I think, to take away their children, and require them to do something hard (as punishment) and atoning (for themselves, and for society). I think something like 20 hours a week of community service (while maintaining full employment) for at least 10 years would be just.

    Prison should be the very last option used by a civilized society, reserved for the truly dangerous, the truly sociopathic, the worst of the worst- not one in a hundred of those currently sent there, and certainly not people like these foolish parents.

  • C Peterson

    Agreed. Something like negligent homicide, which is not something I’d generally consider imprisonment the proper punishment for.

  • Robster

    Don’t you find it amazing, that in 2013, that religious belief can be used to justify a child’s murder? I’m a type 1 diabetic, when the condition developes you tend to get pretty sick, sick enough that there would be no doubt that the child has a nasty illness/condition that needs urgent medical attention. This god, the one that can’t even influence a court, won’t help and no amount of wishful thinking’s going to change that.

  • onamission5

    They voluntarily withheld medical care from a very, very sick child. Nothing involuntary about it.

    If they had instead refused to buy groceries because “god will provide” and starved their child to death, I highly doubt anyone would be calling for leniency. What if they had refused treatment for a broken limb which became septic? What if they’d “treated” her with homeopathy? Why the parents get a pass here for torturing their child to death in a differently passive but no less heinous manner, it fails me.

  • EmpiricalPierce

    I agree with C Peterson on this. Ideally, punishment would only be used to the extent required for genuine correction of behavior. To deliberately use punishment beyond that point ceases to be justice and instead becomes vengeance, an act of emotional masturbation intended only to gratify those who have been angered.

    It is far more practical to punish criminals of this type with community service. Make them provide a useful service with their time instead of having them simply sit idle and cost the government money for no benefit. There are, in fact, many criminals in American prisons who should either be doing community service and/or be in rehab (such as drug addicts who are only guilty of harming themselves). The ridiculous percentage of the population occupying our prisons is an indictment of the system.

    I understand the subconscious, primal desire to see those you hate suffer. But that does not mean we should give in to it, no matter how difficult it can sometimes be to resist.

  • bickle2

    I half agree. They belong in a mental hospital, not a prison. There they can be properly studied, and maybe after a decade or so eventually cured of their delusions.

  • Keith D12

    Speaking as a Christian AND healthcare worker… those people are bat crap nuts.

  • Indigo_Fremont

    Actually, prison seems perfect. Either that or incarceration in a psychiatric facility to address their obvious mental defects.

  • WoodyTanaka

    “But there was no intent to kill or injure.”

    The law recognizes that “depraved indifference” is sufficient to demonstrate intent. There was depraved indifference here.

  • Daniel

    These parents do represent a danger to others, specifically, any children they have or care for. If they have not rescined their belief in “faith healing,” what’s to stop them from letting a child die again?

  • cipher

    Their lawyers argued up to the state Supreme Court that the couple is owed religious immunity from criminal culpability in Kara’s death.

    This is what pisses me off; you can actually get a pos lawyer to take a case like this and come up with such an argument.

    If ever there were a “profession” that required constant government oversight and deserved to be regulated up the wazoo, that’s the one.

  • Name.

    I’m sure you guys realize how bad a case of diabetes has to be for you to die from it. She was obviously in a lot of pain and distress for days, and her parents just stood there, watching. I’m sure that’s what the jury saw, and why they gave them the sentence they did.

  • Scott Hobson

    you are fucking retarded. you should not have kids either.

  • baal

    I do not advocate sterilization for any one. There is a reason the 5th amendment includes a prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. I do think the State should have a right given their deficiencies as parents to have unannounced visits with court power to mandate changes (including medical care counter to the parents religion).

  • baal

    It’s legally useful in this case. The cops will be more likely to arrest religously motivated killing of kids by religious parents and the prosecution is more likely to push the next case like this to trial. You cannot have a fair trial without some one at least trying to do a decent job of defending the bad actors in the case.

    Even outside of this case, if you want a free country, you need to give people a reasonable shot at a legal defense. ‘Administrative justice’ has a terrible trackrecord.

  • cipher

    Defending them is one thing; insisting they deserve “religious immunity” is something else again.

    If he had said, “My clients are guilty, but they’re batshit insane and don’t deserve to go to jail”, I might be more sympathetic.

  • Free

    These are the stories that crush me. Truth, God has given us, mankind, the ability to explore, create, discover, etc… the means to provide healing through medicine. This is consistent with being made in His image. Doctors, whether religious or not, are all evidences of His grace in our world. I think that most of us religious folk get this. These parents unfortunately did not. Can God heal miraculously? I do believe that. I have seen it! Is this His normative way. No. He would rather see us show our love and care for each other. These parents need sound counseling and appropriate legal action Their God is too small. Good intentions can never take the place of real faith.

  • pRinzler

    Someone hand me some popcorn . . . .

  • C Peterson

    What is to stop them from letting a child die again is taking away from them their right (and opportunity) to raise any children.

    Surely you don’t think locking them away is the only way to achieve that goal?

  • C Peterson

    There was depraved indifference here.

    Sure, but I don’t really understand what point you are making. I hope you aren’t under the misapprehension that I’m excusing their actions, that I’m not considering their actions criminal, that I consider their beliefs mitigating, or that I don’t think they should be severely punished.

    What they did was criminal. They were properly found guilty, and the judge invoked a far too lenient sentence. The only argument I’m making here is that I don’t believe prison is the proper sentence at all. That does not mean I don’t support a hard sentence for both parents.

  • C Peterson

    I do not advocate sterilization for any one.

    You may be right. It is a complex issue. I do think that equating sterilization to “cruel and unusual” is debatable, since in the U.S. at least, prison as it usually exists is certainly that. Our prison system is worthy of the best third-world hell holes.

    There are options that achieve the same end. There is implantable birth control that could be court mandated, or reversible sterilization, or simply taking away any children born to them (something that is already done fairly commonly in cases where children are at risk). Regardless of the method, my point was simply that part of the punishment for people like this needs to be having their children removed from them. I’m not sure strict supervision is necessarily enough- particularly, if as I advocate, the parents be given hard enough sentences that they are not left with adequate time or resources to properly care for their children.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Without a prison sentence, what’s a hard sentence that doesn’t cross the line to cruel and unusual?

  • The Other Weirdo

    Truth, you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. What you stated above isn’t truth, it is merely your opinion, your belief. Nothing more.

  • C Peterson

    Exactly what I already suggested: take away their kids and require many years of service from them, that requires most of their time. I see no cruelty there, and the sentence seems to bear on the nature of the crime, which prison seldom does.

  • Free

    Touche. Truth was used 1 time. The sentiment of the statement was for the benefit of those that like these parents, use faith to avoid the help right in front of them. Rephrased for your benefit. Truth, (as can be observed), mankind as the ability to explore, create, discover etc…. Thanks for your “citizens arrest” of my words. I will try to be more careful with context.

  • The Other Weirdo

    So it’s slavery you’re after? What sort of service? With whom? Utilizing which of their skills? Do they have any skills? Would they be reimbursed for this service? If not, will they be allowed to remain gainfully employed to support themselves? Who will benefit from their many years of service?

  • Miss_Beara

    There was a case in Chicago a year or two ago. A man was beating up his girlfriend and a guy intervened. The beater then almost beat the guy to death. Somehow, when this case went to trial, the judge found the guy not guilty of attempted murder. Many judges are completely incompetent.

  • WoodyTanaka

    The point I’m making is that there was an intent to harm or kill, because their acts demonstrated depraved indifference.

  • Philo Vaihinger

    There is no protecting people from stupidity.

    Not even children, and not even when it’s somebody else’s stupidity.

    Maybe especially not then.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “In this case, prison seems much more like revenge than justice.”

    Can’t they be the same? If so, why not?

    Re: “Nothing makes me think they pose a danger to anyone but their own children.”

    I don’t agree. Their personal conduct exhibits “depraved indifference” toward others. It’s a form of sociopathy.

    Re: “They will become expensive wards of the state for years, and emerge as useless, ruined, and very possibly dangerous people.”

    Oh the poor little things. Here, let me hand you a hanky so you can cry over them. As for me, people who kill via depraved indifference aren’t worthy my sympathy. They’re sociopaths, and deserve to be treated as such.

    Re: “I think something like 20 hours a week of community service (while maintaining full employment) for at least 10 years would be just.”

    But what is “community service” other than a way to let them skate? As I asked previously, isn’t that the entire point of courts giving out a “community service” sentence?

    Re: “Prison should be the very last option used by a civilized society, reserved for the truly dangerous, the truly sociopathic …”

    And these parents ARE sociopaths. So yes, they belong in prison.

    Re: “… certainly not people like these foolish parents.”

    They might be “foolish,” but they’re also sociopathic. But even if they were only merely “foolish,” even fools ought to have to endure the consequences of their folly. To do anything else is to remove accountability from society. And that’s dangerous.

  • fff

    The church needs to be dissolved and their leaders imprisoned for life. They are murderers by proxy.

  • Matt D

    So now that you’ve used this tragedy to reaffirm your faith and preach to people that you know find you crazy, is there anything else?

  • C Peterson

    Well, PsiCop, why waste any resources on them at all? I suggest we simply take them out behind the jail and shoot them in the head. A couple of bucks will be the net cost to society.

    Personally, I prefer justice to revenge. A society that institutionalizes revenge isn’t one I want to be part of.

  • C Peterson

    I disagree there was any moral intent, regardless of what the legal intent is. Again, I’m not suggesting there are any mitigating circumstances, nor that they shouldn’t be severely punished.

  • C Peterson

    I don’t consider community service to be slavery. If it is, then prison is much more so.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I don’t think that prisoners should be made to work unless they’re also receiving equitable compensation. So that part of the argument is out.

    I also note that you didn’t answer any of my other questions.

  • C Peterson

    I don’t think they should be paid, unless they lose their jobs, in which case the service time could be increased to 50 or 60 hours a week and they could be paid minimum wage. I’m sure they have skills. How much does it take to pick up trash along roads or serve soup? And if they can do other things to benefit society, great. Maybe they can go around to schools and talk about the consequences of bad choices.

    They’re being offered the opportunity to work in lieu of being imprisoned. I see no reason to pay them. It’s like working off a fine.

    For darn sure, their punishment can be designed to repay society in some way, and not merely burden it.

  • WoodyTanaka

    I understand our issue is solely intrnt.

    Let me use an example. If a person randomly fires a gun into a school bus, that person very well may not intend to hit a child; indeed, it may be that that person’s sincerest, most fervent wish is that no child is hit. Nevertheless, because of his depraved indifference to the consequences of his act, there would be both moral and legal intent present. in my opinion.

    The same here. The moral responsibilities of parents to children require them to seek medical aid when their children are sick, regardless of what their religions say. To do otherwise is the same as firing blindly into a school bus and hoping everyone is okay.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “I suggest we simply take them out behind the jail and shoot them in the head.”

    Gee, thanks for the “straw man”! You’re being ridiculous. I never advocated killing them. I only advocated punishing them in a meaningful way which will be unpleasant enough to convey to them how depraved they are, rob them (for a time) of the opportunity to inflict their depraved indifference on anyone else, and to discourage others from doing the same thing to their own kids.

    Re: “Personally, I prefer justice to revenge.”

    That distinction lives solely in your own mind and is subjective in any event. You arbitrarily slap the label of “revenge” on imprisoning this depraved couple, and then use that label as evidence they shouldn’t be imprisoned. What you’re doing is called a “tautology” and I am nowhere near stupid enough to fall for it.

  • The Other Weirdo

    What you’re talking about is not community service. I don’t know if there is a term for what you’re describing, but I do know that we, as society, don’t really want to go in that direction. I don’t if jail necessarily is the best option, but you’re talking about some sort of perverse state-sponsored indentured servitude.

    And how, exactly, would society be repaid? Rather than working new and bizarre punishments for people, instead we should be concentrating on having these weird religious exemptions to the law repealed. That would solve the problem outright and immediately.

  • C Peterson

    Well, I consider prison a poor punishment, inappropriate to the crime. There are very few crimes that prison fits, and this isn’t one of them.

    I fully support punishing them severely and in a meaningful way.

    If you think justice and societal revenge are equivalent, we really have no common ground for discussion.

  • C Peterson

    I don’t think that failing to take actions (seeking medical assistance) for personal moral reasons reflects the same kind of “badness” that carrying out a dangerous action (shooting into a bus) does. Those are certainly very different crimes. Prison makes no sense in the first case; we have better punishments. In the second case, we clearly have somebody who is dangerous to society, so perhaps locking them away is our only alternative.

  • C Peterson

    How is this different from any community service? They still have a home, they are not confined, they are not limited in what they can do. People get exactly this kind of community service imposed on them all the time, for all sorts of crimes.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “Well, I consider prison a poor punishment, inappropriate to the crime.”

    I consider it appropriate in cases of depraved indifference (a form of sociopathy) leading to death. You haven’t shown me how what this couple did does not constitute depraved indifference and therefore is not sociopathy?

    Re: “If you think justice and societal revenge are equivalent, we really have no common ground for discussion.”

    I don’t accept that they must always be mutually exclusive. I submit that, sometimes, an instance of revenge can be just.

    In any event, as I said, all you’re doing is slapping the label “revenge” on imprisoning this couple, then using that as evidence they can’t be imprisoned. You’re continuing to do it even after I’ve pointed out how illogical it is and that I would not accept it.

    So that leaves me wondering why you persist in doing it? Maybe it’s a mantra that’s been drilled into your head and you cannot or will not see that it fails? Maybe you just don’t know any better?

  • C Peterson

    Simply put, I don’t think that these people acted immorally by their own standards. They acted against the morals of society, and for that society can, and should punish them.

    I don’t care if what they did was “depraved indifference” or not. That’s not the point. Since I don’t see them as a danger to the community, I don’t believe they should be in prison. I believe the only legitimate use of prison is to isolate from society those too dangerous to live in it. All other crimes can be punished in better ways.

  • WoodyTanaka

    I disagree. I think that they reflect a similar, albeit not precisely tbe same, mindset. With these illnesses, any thinking adult would know that untreated, harm or dealth will occur. When you are the parent, there is no excuse for not seeking the aid, including religious beliefs. one’s right to freedom of religion ends, in my opinion, at the point where one’s child’s health and safety begins.

    As for the appropriateness of jail, I am in favor of jailing them for a long time. These are the kind of people who are dumb enough to do the exact same thing with another child. I think jail is appropriate for punishment puposes.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I was unaware that general community service is imposed to the tune of 50-60 hours per week over an extended period of time. That’s more than what many people work per week.

  • C Peterson

    I suggested 10-20 hours of community service. I’d only add another 40 to that if they aren’t otherwise working. One of the points is to force them to spend a substantial amount of their time at the task. Of course, nowhere near as much as the 100% that prison would cost them. But enough that they need to structure their lives around it for a long time.

  • Y. A. Warren

    It is not about rights; it is about responsibility.

    We have completely lost touch of the concept of responsibility flowing from authority. Authority should flow from competence shown by example and responsible compassion. No human being has the intrinsic right to take down a complete community based on what they want for themselves alone. In a democracy, we have privileges based on our ability to live up to the needs of the greater society. We mistake these for individual inalienable rights.

    Children are not able to exercise responsible authority; therefore they need protection of a greater community. The fallacy in our society is that we should support the individual’s action, even when they create chaos for the greater good, as decided on by the majority of responsible citizens of a community.

    We must take back the concept of individual compassionate responsibility, which means that our citizenry demands the authority that is granted only by the willingness to accept the rules of the greater good while taking the consequences for their own actions.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Kill your own child with your own religion, serve 10-20 hours of community service? Is that what we’re equating human life to now?

  • GraceAdams830

    Most places the prison term for manslaughter is ten years. I met someone who did ten years for manslaughter for what seemed a matter of self-defense. The claim was that she was negligent in forgiving her boyfriend three times before ending up killing him just trying to keep him from killing her the fourth time he tried to beat her up.