I find it amenable to break, from time to time, from standard-practice tracing of highly politicized (and highly publicized) legislation and prosecution of the law in Washington. So, without further delay:
The good state of Iowa has made it a felony to dismember dead bodies. The law, which goes into effect on July 1st, is a response to the 2001 murder of Greg May by Douglas DeBruin. DeBruin killed his strangled his roommate, May, to death and then dismembered and disposed of the body with his girlfriend Julie Miller.
While DeBruin will spend the rest of his life in prison, Miller was sentenced to only eight years – five for lying to investigators, and three for taking possession of the dead man’s belongings (after the murder, the couple took a road trip across the United States, selling May’s civil war memorabilia for cash).
May’s children were outraged at Miller’s light sentence, and have worked five years with state law-makers to have dismemberment included in the state’s list of felonies.
On the whole, this strikes me as a very positive legislative move, reinforcing the respect that the citizens of Iowa have for human dignity, and integrity.