Created: 03/04/2014 4:11 AM WHEC.com
By: Julie Sherwood, Messenger Post
State Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, announced Monday a bill that has passed the Senate makes the desecration of veteran cemetery plots and markers a felony.
O’Brien stated in a release he co-sponsored the bill that passed the Senate and makes a new crime of desecration of veteran cemetery plots and markers. The measure that makes the crime a Class E felony is sponsored in the Assembly by Majority Leader Joe Morelle, D-Irondequoit.
“It is a terrible act when any individual’s final resting place is tampered with, but it is especially reprehensible when that grave belongs to someone who is a veteran of our country’s military,” stated O’Brien. “Those who have served our country with honor deserve our eternal respect. One way to maintain that respect is by ensuring that criminals who violate the sanctity of veterans’ final resting places are subject to very serious penalties.”
O’Brien stated that “as scrap prices have climbed throughout the United States, bronze and brass grave markers have been targeted by metal thieves, particularly during a rash of robberies in the Syracuse area in the mid-2000s. In 2000, the grave of Civil War General Elisha G. Marshall was opened by unknown persons in the City of Rochester’s Mt. Hope Cemetery and his skull was stolen.