1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Green (72nd)
House Bill 491
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-17-39, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE PENALTIES FOR DESECRATION OF CHURCH PROPERTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-17-39, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-39. If any person, by any means whatever, shall wilfully or mischievously injure or destroy any of the burial vaults, urns, memorials, vases, foundations, bases or other similar items in a cemetery, or injure or destroy any of the work, materials, * * * furniture or other property of any courthouse or jail, or other public building, or schoolhouse or church, or deface any of the walls or other parts thereof, or shall write, or make any drawings or character, or do any other act, either on or in said building or the walls thereof, or shall deface or injure the trees, fences, pavements, or soil, on the grounds belonging thereto, or an ornamental or shade tree on any public road or street leading thereto, such person, upon conviction, for such offense, shall be punished as follows:
(a) If the damage caused by the destruction or defacement of such property has a value of less than Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00), any person who is convicted of such offense shall be fined not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or both and shall pay all costs of restitution.
(b) If the damage caused by the destruction or defacement of such property has a value equal to or exceeding Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00), any person who is convicted of such offense shall be fined not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) and shall be imprisoned in the State Penitentiary for up to five (5) years, and shall pay all costs of restitution.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.