H. B. 2734
(By Delegate Ambler)
[Introduced February 26, 2013; 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
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
ARTICLE 12. POSTMORTEM EXAMINATIONS.
§61-12-16. Photography of a corpse; when prohibited; penalties;
_____(a)(1) Except as needed for purposes of a legitimate
postmortem examination, or for criminal justice purposes in the investigation of a crime,
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 $50 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 $100 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
This section is new; therefore, it has been completely