Congress Votes to Kick Killer Out of Cemetery

Bill passes House 398-1
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2013 2:18 PM CST
Congress Votes to Kick Killer Out of National Cemetery
Fort Custer National Cemetery   (©)

The House voted overwhelmingly today on a bill that will evict a killer from a national cemetery, and give the Pentagon the power to disinter any future murderers it buries by mistake. Michael LeShawn Anderson shot three people and then himself at an Indianapolis apartment complex last year, killing complex employee Alicia Koehl, the Indy Star explains. He was still buried in Fort Custer National Cemetery in Michigan with full military honors, however, and Koehl's family has been pushing to have him exhumed ever since.

While federal law already prohibits national cemeteries from burying people who commit capital crimes, the cemetery said it was not legally allowed to correct the mistake afterward. This law changes that, and "ensures that the families of our veterans can bury their loved ones among heroes," said its sponsor, Sen. Dan Coats. The bill, which cleared the Senate unanimously last month, passed 398-1. That lone objection, according to Govtrack, was Michigan Republican Justin Amash. (You might remember Amash for his failed effort to curtail NSA surveillance.)

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