2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) Doxey, White, Dearing
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT REPRODUCTION OR PUBLICATION OF AUTOPSY PHOTOGRAPHS, ETC., TAKEN IN THE COURSE OF POSTMORTEM EXAMINATION OR AUTOPSY OR AN INVESTIGATION OF CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no copy, reproduction, or facsimile of any kind shall be made or published of any photograph, negative, or print including, without limitation, instant photographs, digital photographs and video tapes, of the body, or any portion of the body, of a deceased person, taken by or for the medical examiner or medical examiner investigator at the scene of death or in the course of a postmortem examination or autopsy made by or caused to be made by the medical examiner or medical examiner investigator, or of any living victim, taken by or for any law enforcement agency in the investigation of a crime against that victim. The prohibition of this section shall not apply to:
(a) Use of a photograph, negative or print in a criminal or civil action or proceeding in this state which relates to the death of the person or crime against the person who is the subject of the photograph, negative or print; or
(b) As a court of this state permits, by order after good cause has been shown and after written notification of the request for the court order has been served, at least five (5) days before the order is made, upon the district attorney of the county in which the postmortem examination, autopsy, or criminal investigation was made.
(2) This section shall not apply to the making of such a copy, reproduction, or facsimile for use:
(a) In the field of forensic pathology;
(b) In medical or scientific education or research; or (c) By a federal law enforcement agency or any law enforcement agency in this or any other state of the United States.
(3) This section shall apply to any medium, including the Internet, and to any copy, reproduction, facsimile, photograph, negative, or print described in subsection (1) of this section without regard to whether it was made or obtained prior to the effective date of this act.
(4) A first conviction of a violation under this section shall be a misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction of a violation under this section shall be a felony punishable by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not to exceed three (3) years, or both.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.