It was nearly four years ago when Dale and Shannon Hickman were first sentenced to prison.
As members of the Followers of Christ Church (in Oregon), they believed in prayer as an alternative to doctors, a belief that resulted in the death of their newborn son. According to a pediatric expert who testified against the Hickmans, their son had a 99.9% chance of survival if only they had sought out proper medical care.
A judge found them guilty of second-degree manslaughter and gave them a prison sentence of more than six years — the longest one ever issued to faith-healing parents who killed their own child.
So why bring them up again?
The Hickmans appealed the ruling and it’s been going through the legal system for years now. But the Oregon Court of Appeals as well as the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed the decision and there’s no way to appeal it now.
The Hickmans are finally going to jail.
Writing for the en banc court, Judge Virginia Linder noted that, though Hickmans did not bring their religious beliefs into their defense, they were relevant to the case.
“Even with the state’s medical experts’ testimony, a looming question remained: Why? Why would any parent, seeing his or her three-and-a-half pound newborn child in the obvious distress that the experts described, not call for medical help?” Linder wrote.
Their earliest release date from prison in Jan. 29, 2018, according to state penitentiary records. Dale is being held at Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, while Shannon is at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville.
This is religious dogma at its worst, convincing you to do something you instinctively know is wrong because you believe it’s what God wants.
They’ll have plenty of time to rethink their delusions while sitting in their prison cells.
(Image via YouTube. Thanks to Zack for the link)