The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

James Allen Selby

James Allen Selby is buried at Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Oklahoma, with full military honors, having served in the gulf war and dying via suicide in October 2004.

But there are some that would like you to consider whether Selby should have the right to be buried in what many believe is a cemetery for those deserving nothing short of honor and respect. Selby lies 'in peace' along side soldier who died while serving our country, or who have died after serving our country. The rest of us are prompted to decide whether just wearing a uniform should ensure one's right to being buried with full honors at a national cemetery... or whether one's entire life beyond their service should play a factor.

You see, Selby was convicted just days before his suicide of 27 counts, including armed robbery, rape, kidnapping and attempted murder- most of these offense stemming from the rape spree he went on after he returned to civil life. He is believed to have at least 10 victims, although some believe there were more, follows is the story of one of his victims:

Jenny Bush, a young Arizona woman just graduated from college, walks into her home at the end of a workday and encounters an armed serial rapist, James Allen Selby. Selby, who had entered through a first-floor window, uses duct tape to gag and bind her, and then rapes her at knifepoint before fleeing.

Anne K. Ream, who heads a victims advocate org- The Voices and Faces Project has an interesting piece in the LA Times about this case, and also about our goverments willingness to allow many others like Selby be buried with military honors, in our National Cemeteries.

The military policy of allowing honors burials for veterans convicted of rape sends a chilling message to victims: Even the most heinous sexual violence does not trump prior military service. It is a position that is as ethically indefensible as it is inconsistent. In 1997, after Army veteran Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death for his role in the Oklahoma City bombings, Congress barred veterans convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death or life in prison from being buried with full military honors. Veterans convicted of rape or any other violent crime, however, encounter no such restrictions.

The entire piece is really a must read to everyone.