SB 524

85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Senate Criminal Justice
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Criminal Procedure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Brian Birdwell


Charlie Geren

Bill Caption

Relating to increasing the punishment for the offense of abuse of a corpse.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

Under current law abuse of a human corpse is a Class A misdemeanor. If this bill passes, the punishment for abuse of a corpse would be elevated to a state jail felony. A Class A misdemeanor constitutes up to one year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine. A state jail felony mandates 180 days to two years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

For most of the statutory definitions of abuse of a corpse we do not view a state jail felony as being disproportionate to the crime. However, we are concerned about one provision which stipulates that a person who "vandalizes, damages, or treats in an offensive manner the space in which a human corpse has been interred or otherwise permanently laid to rest" commits the offense of abuse of a corpse. What exactly constitutes "treats in an offensive manner" is vague and subjective. A state jail felony is probably disproportionate for a violation of this provision. 

We recommend amending SB 524 to stipulate that the offense mentioned above would remain a Class A misdemeanor.