California

SAVING GRAVES

 

PENAL CODE
Sec. 594.3

Vandalism & Desecration

Section 594.3
     (a) Any person who knowingly commits any act of vandalism to a church, synagogue, building owned and occupied by a religious educational institution, or other place primarily used as a place of worship where religious services are regularly conducted or a cemetery is guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or by imprisonment in the county jail for not exceeding one year.
     (b) Any person who knowingly commits any act of vandalism to a church, synagogue, building owned and occupied by a religious educational institution, or other place primarily used as a place of worship where religious services are regularly conducted or a cemetery, which is shown to have been committed by reason of the race, color, religion, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals and to have been committed for the purpose of intimidating and deterring persons from freely exercising their religious beliefs, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.

Section 594.35  (formerly Health and Safety Code Sec. 8101, Cemeteries, General Provisions)
    
Every person is guilty of a crime and punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or by imprisonment in a county jail for not exceeding one year, who maliciously does any of the following:
     (a) Destroys, cuts, mutilates, effaces, or otherwise injures, tears down, or removes any tomb, monument, memorial, or marker in a cemetery, or any gate, door, fence, wall, post or railing, or any inclosure for the protection of a cemetery or mortuary or any property in a cemetery or mortuary.
     (b) Obliterates any grave, vault, niche, or crypt.
     (c) Destroys, cuts, breaks or injures any mortuary building or any building, statuary, or ornamentation within the limits of a cemetery.
     (d) Disturbs, obstructs, detains or interferes with any person carrying or accompanying human remains to a cemetery or funeral establishment, or engaged in a funeral service, or an interment.

Note:  Section 594.35 is presently under process of amendment through AB 207 (2003) which will add language intended to increase punishment of those who vandalize military veterans markers and monuments.  To read this bill, go to the Cemetery Legislation page and follow the links.


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