MADISON, Wis. – A mother and father who prayed instead of seeking medical help as their daughter died were properly convicted of homicide, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a decision that dramatically limits legal immunity for parents who turn to God rather than science to heal their children.
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 other counts.
No one reading the treatment-through-prayer provision should expect protection from criminal liability under any other statute, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote for the majority.
US drone strikes kill 16 in Pakistan
Unmanned U.S. aircraft fired four missiles at a house in northwest Pakistan before dawn Wednesday, killing 16 suspected militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
The drone strike elicited a swift condemnation by the Pakistani government, which released a statement saying the strikes are a violation of its sovereignty.
Computer mouse developer, 88, dies
Doug Engelbart, the inventor of the computer mouse and developer of early incarnations of email, word processing programs and the Internet, has died at the age of 88.
His death of acute kidney failure occurred at his home in Atherton, Calif., after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to one of his daughters, Diana Engelbart Mangan.
Cleveland abductor deemed fit for trial
A man charged with holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade and raping them is competent to stand trial, a judge ruled.
Cuyahoga County Judge Michael Russo said the results of an examination of Ariel Castro last week showed that he is mentally able to understand the charges and assist attorneys in his defense.
Also Wednesday, prosecutor Saleh Awadallah said a meeting is planned July 11 to discuss the possibility of seeking the death penalty for the 52-year-old Castro.
DNA may refute Zimmerman claim
Trayvon Martin’s DNA was not found on the grip of George Zimmerman’s gun, and Zimmerman’s DNA was not found under the unarmed teen’s fingernails, a law enforcement expert said Wednesday in testimony that prosecutors hope will refute the neighborhood watch volunteer’s self-defense claim.
Judge Debra Nelson dismissed jurors without the prosecution having rested its case as it had hoped to do by day’s end. Nelson won’t resume testimony until Friday morning.
Indiana city bans realistic pellet guns
The Columbus (Ind.) City Council has passed a law prohibiting anyone younger than 18 from carrying realistic-looking pellet guns in the south central Indiana community.
The council’s unanimous action Tuesday night follows a string of calls to Columbus police of people in public with guns that turned out to be toys.
Police Chief Jason Maddix says the look-alike guns put police officers in a bad position when they have just seconds to decide whether to shoot.