H. B. 4452
(By Delegates Young, Poore, Ambler, P. Smith,
Longstreth, Lynch, Boggs, Pino, Guthrie,
Hunt and Barrett)
[Introduced February 10, 2014; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-12-16, relating to making it illegal for anyone to photograph a corpse except for certain legitimate purposes; and providing criminal penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-12-16, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12. POSTMORTEM EXAMINATIONS.
§61-12-16. Photography of a corpse; when prohibited; penalties; exceptions.
(a)(1) Except as needed for purposes of a legitimate postmortem examination, or for criminal justice purposes in the investigation of a crime, no person may photograph a corpse.
(2) A person who violates subdivision (1) of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500. For a second offense the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for twenty-four hours and shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $750. For a third or subsequent offense under this subsection, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail for not less than twenty-four hours and not more than six months, and shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000.
(b) Subdivision (1), subsection (a) of this section does not prohibit a person from taking a photograph of a decedent’s corpse at a wake, funeral, or memorial or burial service.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it illegal for anyone to photograph a corpse except for certain legitimate purposes.
This section is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.