An attorney for a Loudon County woman asked the State Supreme Court to clear her of child neglect Thursday, more than twenty years after she prayed for her daughter's cancer to go away instead of allowing her to be treated.
Jacqueline Crank was sentenced to unsupervised probation after her 15-year-old daughter, Jessica, died of Ewing's Sarcoma in 2002. Despite the light sentence, Crank has fought the case ever since, arguing that faith-healing should be legal for everyone.
Tennessee state law does protect faith-healing, but only by accredited practitioners of recognized religions.
Crank's spiritual adviser received accreditation from the "Universal Life Church," which testimony showed the church would grant to anyone who filled out an application.
"This woman chose to, she testified and it's in my brief, listen to Jesus Christ, Billy Graham and Kenneth Copeland. She was as sincere as she could be. And that's what exercised religious freedom is all about. And because this statute is unclear and vague, it's unconstitutional," argued her attorney, Greg Isaacs, before the justices in Knoxville on Thursday afternoon.
The justices did not make a decision today.They'll release a written opinion at a later date.