Congress could soon consider legislation allowing dead criminals to be removed from national cemeteries.
A bill introduced by members of Indiana's congressional delegation would let the government disinter and relocate the remains of people buried in national cemeteries if they committed a capital crime before their death.
Brooks said the Koehl family has asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to remove Anderson from the Michigan cemetery. Under current law, people who have committed a capital crime — usually murder, rape or treason — cannot be buried in a national cemetery.
However, once someone is buried, the law does not allow officials to disinter their remains if they are later found to have committed a capital crime. Because of that limitation, the VA said in late July that it would not remove Anderson's body from the Michigan cemetery.
Under Brooks's bill, the remains of people found to have committed a federal or state capital crime could be moved from national cemeteries. The bill also contains language specific to Anderson that requires his remains to be moved from the Michigan cemetery.
"Alicia Koehls' family deserves the closure that our ineffective federal bureaucracy has denied for too long," Brooks said on Tuesday. "This is a much needed legislative fix that will protect the integrity of our national cemeteries."
Brooks's bill is a House companion to legislation that Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) proposed in early August. The House bill is sponsored by Reps. Luke Messer (R-Ind.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), and Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.).