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Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 42.08. Abuse of Corpse

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(a) A person commits an offense if the person, without legal authority, knowingly:

(1) disinters, disturbs, damages, dissects, in whole or in part, carries away, or treats in an offensive manner a human corpse;

(2) conceals a human corpse knowing it to be illegally disinterred;

(3) sells or buys a human corpse or in any way traffics in a human corpse;

(4) transmits or conveys, or procures to be transmitted or conveyed, a human corpse to a place outside the state;  or

(5) vandalizes, damages, or treats in an offensive manner the space in which a human corpse has been interred or otherwise permanently laid to rest.

(b) An offense under this section is a state jail felony, except that an offense under Subsection (a)(5) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c) In this section, “human corpse” includes:

(1) any portion of a human corpse;

(2) the cremated remains of a human corpse;  or

(3) any portion of the cremated remains of a human corpse.

(d) If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another section of this code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or both sections.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor:

(1) as a member or agent of a cemetery organization, removed or damaged anything that had been placed in or on any portion of the organization's cemetery in violation of the rules of the organization;  or

(2) removed anything:

(A) placed in the cemetery in violation of the rules of the cemetery organization;  or

(B) placed in the cemetery by or with the cemetery organization's consent but that, in the organization's judgment, had become wrecked, unsightly, or dilapidated.

(f) In this section, “cemetery” and “cemetery organization” have the meanings assigned by Section 711.001, Health and Safety Code.

Cite this article: - Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 42.08. Abuse of Corpse - last updated April 14, 2021 |

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