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Bill Number: 3472 Ratification Number: 123 Act Number 74 Introducing Body: House Subject: Destruction of human remains, repository of; penalties
(A74, R123, H3472)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 16-17-600, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO DESTRUCTION OF GRAVES, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR FURTHER DESIGNATION OF THE DESTRUCTION OF GRAVES AND BURIAL GROUNDS, AND TO FURTHER MAKE IT UNLAWFUL TO DESTROY OR DESECRATE A DECEASED HUMAN BEING OR OTHER HUMAN REMAINS, AND TO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, MAKE THE DESTRUCTION OR DESECRATION OF HUMAN REMAINS AN OFFENSE UNDER THIS SECTION AND DESIGNATE IT AS A FELONY AND REQUIRE MANDATORY IMPRISONMENT OF NOT LESS THAN ONE YEAR; TO AMEND SECTION 16-1-10, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO CRIMES CLASSIFIED AS FELONIES, SO AS TO INCLUDE THE OFFENSE OF DESTRUCTION OR DESECRATION OF HUMAN REMAINS; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 16-17-590, RELATING TO MUTILATION OF MONUMENT OR TOMBSTONE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Destruction of human remains, repository of; penalties
SECTION 1. Section 16-17-600 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 16-17-600. (A) A person who acts without proper legal authority and who wilfully and knowingly:
(1) destroys or damages the remains of a deceased human being;
(2) removes any portion of the remains of a deceased human being from a burial ground where human skeletal remains are buried, a grave, crypt, vault, mausoleum, or other repository; or
(3) desecrates human remains;
is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand dollars and imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than ten years.
(B) A person who acts without proper legal authority and who wilfully and knowingly:
(1) obliterates, vandalizes, or desecrates a burial ground where human skeletal remains are buried, a grave, graveyard, tomb, mausoleum, or other repository of human remains;
(2) defaces, vandalizes, injures, or removes a gravestone or other memorial monument or marker commemorating a deceased person or group of persons, whether located within or outside of a recognized cemetery, memorial park, or battlefield; or
(3) obliterates, vandalizes, or desecrates a park or other area clearly designated to preserve and perpetuate the memory of a deceased person or group of persons;
is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for not more than ten years, or fined not more than two thousand dollars, or both, in the discretion of the trial court.
(C) A person who acts without proper legal authority and wilfully destroys, tears down, or injures only fencing, plants, trees, shrubs, or flowers located upon or around a repository for human remains, or within a human graveyard or memorial park is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined or imprisoned, or both, in the discretion of the trial court; provided, that when the injury or loss of property is less than two hundred dollars, the case must be adjudicated in the magistrate's court and the punishment may not be more than is permitted by law, without presentment or indictment by the grand jury."
Offense, classified as felony
SECTION 2. The offense of destruction or desecration of human remains, as stated in Section 16-17-600(A), is added to the list of crimes classified as felonies in Section 16-1-10.
SECTION 3. Section 16-17-590 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.