NY State Senator Simcha Felder is fighting to increase penalties for criminals that choose to disrespect and vandalize the final resting place of our loved ones. Recently the New York State Senate unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Senator Felder (s1109), which makes even “minor” damage from cemetery desecration a class E felony. The bill also establishes a far more serious punishment for second-time offenders.
Every year, hundreds of cemeteries suffer crimes of toppled stones, graffiti, desecration of remains, and outright demolition. In the United States last year, more than 1,800 individual markers were affected, costing at least $488,000 to repair.
“The consequences of cemetery vandalism are not limited to property damage, but can result in emotional trauma to the relatives and friends of the departed whose grave has been desecrated,” said Senator Felder. “It’s about time New York State got tougher on the individuals who commit these horrific crimes.”
Cemeteries need to be respected as places of memorial and remembrance, free from attack and defilement. Senator Felder will continue to safeguard our community by penalizing criminals that defile our cemeteries.