Law: Convicted Of Relying on Prayer

A manslaughter case tests the limits of religious liberty

The jury forewoman was trembling. After she announced the verdict, several of the jurors began to sob loudly. The defendants held hands but showed no emotion upon hearing the guilty pronouncement. Climaxing a dramatic and closely watched trial that pitted church against state, David and Ginger Twitchell were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a Boston courtroom last week. Their crime: letting their sick 2 1/2-year-old son Robyn die because they chose to follow their religion and rely on prayers rather than call a doctor. "This has been a prosecution against our faith," lamented David Twitchell, a lifelong Christian Scientist. No, countered...

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