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Staff Publications

Abuse of Corpse Crimes in Other States

Subject
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Published
02/21/2020

This memorandum addresses abuse of corpse laws in the 50 states.  While the vast majority of states have enacted abuse of corpse or other related laws, they differ in definition and crime classification.  For example, some states outline penalties for mutilating or defacing a corpse, while others more broadly define it as “outraging family sensibilities.”  Over half of the states (27) have classified this crime as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. 

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