Waterbrook, May 2004, 13.99
In Virginia Beach, Thomas and Theresa Hammond place their faith in prayer as they are deeply religious adhering to a strict fundamental interpretation of the Lord's word. When their youngest child two years old Joshua becomes gravelly ill and with the Hammonds having no money, they pray to the Lord to heal their son. Three days later the child is rushed to the hospital, but it is too late and he dies.
The law comes down hard on the parents, blaming them for the death of their son due to negligent homicide. The media portrays the pair as somber pious fanatics whose inflexible attitude killed their child. No one cares that they had no money or health insurance leaving them to believe their only option was to pray for a miracle. The court places their other two children in the care of Special Advocate Nikki Moreno awaiting the outcome of the trial of the Hammonds. Deputy Commonwealth Attorney General Rebecca “Barracuda” Crawford sees this case as an opportunity to further her political ambitions by hanging the Hammonds for child abuse and cruelty. Nikki enlists Regent Law School Professor and street preacher Charles Arnold to counter the dirty tricks pulled by the Barracuda who cares naught for a dead child and even less for justice.
This is a legal thriller that provides deep insight into the issues of protecting children, freedom of religion and our health system failing the working poor. The cast feels genuine especially the accused and their confused surviving children.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner