February 5, 2010

Turner's bill on vets' cemetery theft becomes law

Among 11 bills Gov. Jim Doyle signed into law Thursday was one introduced by Rep. Robert Turner of Racine. Turner issued the following press release today:
State Representative Robert Turner (D-Racine) announced today that Governor Doyle has signed Assembly Bill 376 into law. Rep. Turner introduced the bill to help eliminate the growing problem of the theft of veterans’ bronze cemetery markers. “This has been an escalating problem that needed a fix,” said Rep. Turner.

Under current law, a court must order a person who is convicted of a crime to pay restitution to any victim of the crime, unless the court finds substantial reason not to order restitution. Assembly Bill 376 requires that a person who is convicted of theft of a veteran’s cemetery marker must reimburse the cost to replace the markers to the cemetery from which it was taken.

“I find it extremely disrespectful and disappointing that people will stoop to the level of stealing bronze markers from the graves of our veterans,” Turner said. “By virtue of this legislation, at least they will have to pay to replace the marker if they are convicted of the theft.”

Turner’s bill is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Wisconsin Cemetery and Cremation Association. The bill will become effective within two weeks.


  1. Kudos to Rep. Turner

  2. Meanwhile his district has how many new jobs?

  3. As a Vet, this is all very nice, but exactly "where's the Meat"?. The state is in a finacial meltdown and her is doing what?

  4. The real story around here is Kelly for Congress.

  5. I'm usually not one to suggest that the way to address a problem that's already illegal is trying to make it somehow more illegal still, but there is a certain logic in this one.

    Folks usually steal these markers to sell them.

    Seems right if they stole a marker and sold it, they ought to be responsible for paying to put it back.

  6. Yeah, but how does he feel about texting?

  7. ...Seems right if they stole a marker and sold it, they ought to be responsible for paying to put it back...

    So if something is stolen and not sold, it need not be paid back?
    Why is Joe Blow's grave marker any more sacred than my sister's? No matter what was done with it.
    Turner is grandstanding and cluttering up our law books - like most politicians.

  8. Anon,

    There's likely no ongoing business in selling your sister's marker for scrap.

    Destroy the economic incentive, and stealing bronze markers to sell for scrap will disappear.

    While they're at it, they might want to consider prosecuting scrap dealers who buy them.