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The Nation

A Christian Science couple was found guilty in Sarasota, Fla., of third-degree murder and felony child abuse in the death of their 7-year-old daughter Amy, who died at home in 1986 of diabetes after they relied on prayer for her recovery instead of seeking medical care. The six-member jury deliberated for about three hours before finding William Hermanson, 42, and his wife, Christine, 38, guilty. The Hermansons used as their defense a 1975 Florida law that protects parents who withhold treatment from children if they are “legitimately practicing” religious beliefs. But the prosecution told jurors that Christian Science allows medical intervention when prayer has not worked.


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