published Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

TN high court to hear faith-healing case

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by a Loudon County woman who tried to heal her daughter's cancer through prayer.

Jacqueline Crank was convicted of misdemeanor child neglect in 2012 and given a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, suspended to unsupervised probation. The conviction came 10 years after the death of her then-15-year-old daughter Jessica Crank from Ewing's Sarcoma. According to court records, the cancer caused a grapefruit-sized tumor on the girl's shoulder that appeared to cause her severe pain.

Jacqueline Crank has argued in court that a Tennessee law protecting some faith healers but not others is unconstitutional. The law offers some protection from prosecution if the faith healing is performed by a "duly accredited practitioner" of a recognized church or religious denomination.

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