Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today introduced legislation which would enhance penalties for individuals who purposely desecrate a public monument. This follows the theft of a 9/11 memorial plaque from Atlantic Highlands last month.
Following the theft of a 9/11 memorial plaque, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Aswm. Serena DiMaso introduced legislation which would enhance penalties for desecrating a public monument. (Wikimedia Commons)
“September 11th, 2001 is a date etched in the memory of every American. Here in Monmouth County we lost 147 souls,” said DiMaso. “The memorial plaque at Monmouth County’s 9/11 Memorial at Mount Mitchell in Atlantic Highlands is more than just a plaque and the punishment for defacing it must be increased.”
“It is unfathomable that an individual would so heartlessly desecrate a public monument like the 9/11 memorial at Mount Mitchell,” O’Scanlon continued. “Under current law, their punishment would be treated lightly as a disorderly persons offense. This legislation will ensure that the legal ramifications for such abhorrent actions fits the crime.”
“A disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to six months imprisonment, up to a $1,000 fine, or both. Our legislation will change this statute and make desecration of a venerated object a 4th degree crime punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, up to a $10,000 fine, or both,” said DiMaso.
“We will never forget those we lost on 9/11. We will always love, cherish, and honor their memories. Assemblywoman DiMaso and I are asking that all legislators in Monmouth County support this bill, and hope all of our legislative colleagues in New Jersey will support it as well,” O’Scanlon concluded.