Lawmakers Move to Ban McVeigh Military Burial - WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON — Convicted terrorist Timothy McVeigh would be barred from burial in U.S. military cemeteries under a bill passed Wednesday by t...

WASHINGTON — Convicted terrorist Timothy McVeigh would be barred from burial in U.S. military cemeteries under a bill passed Wednesday by the Senate.


A federal jury in Denver sentenced McVeigh to death last week for the April 19, 1995, bombing of an Oklahoma federal building that killed 168 people. Veterans groups have been angered that McVeigh, as a decorated veteran of the Gulf War, could be buried in a national cemetery.

Senators voted 98-0 to eliminate the possibility by barring veteran's benefits to anyone convicted of first-degree murder under federal law. Benefits already are denied to those guilty of treason, sabotage, mutiny and other crimes.

Similar legislation is pending in the House.

"It is a further statement of national resolve...We will deny you honor in death,'' said sponsor Robert Torricelli, New Jersey Democrat.

"I think it would be a desecration of a national cemetery'' to allow McVeigh to be buried in one, said Senator Don Nickles, Oklahoma Republican.

Another sponsor, Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter, said McVeigh still would be eligible for retirement benefits, which are paid by the Defense Department rather than the Veterans Administration.

Specter told reporters that could be fixed by amending the bill when the House and Senate write a final version of the bill.

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