Chapter 235 {Public Laws of 1898}


An Act for the punishment of crimes (Revision of 1898)


Excerpt: Sections 51-56



51. Any person who shall be guilty of open lewdness, or any notorious act of public indecency, grossly scan­dalous, and tending to debauch the morals and manners of the people, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


52. Any person who, having a husband or wife living, marries another person, shall be guilty of bigamy, and punished by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment at hard labor not exceeding ten years, or both; but nothing in this section contained shall extend to any person whose husband or wife shall be continu­ally remaining without the United States of America for the space of five years together, or whose husband or wife shall absent himself or herself, the one from the other, for the space of five years together, in any parts within this state or the United States, the one of them not knowing the other to be living within that time; nor to any person who is or shall be, at the time of such marriage, divorced, by the judgment or decree of any authority or court having cognizance thereof; nor to any person where the former marriage hath been, or shall be, by the judgment or decree of any such author­ity or court, declared to be void and of no effect.


53. Any person who, without just cause, shall utter or expose to the view of another, or have in his posses­sion, with intent so to utter or expose to view, or to sell the same, any obscene or indecent book, pamphlet, picture, or other representation, however made; or any instrument, medicine, or other thing, designed or pur­porting to be designed for the prevention of conception, or the procuring of abortion, or who shall in any wise advertise, or aid, or assist in advertising the same, or in any manner, whether by recommendation against its use or otherwise, give or cause to be given, or aid in giving any information how or where any of the same may be had or seen, bought or sold, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


54. Any person who shall willfully and wantonly send or convey to any female, against her will and consent, any insulting, indecent, lascivious or disgusting letter or communication, without lawful purpose in sending or conveying the same, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


55. It shall be unlawful to expose to public view the body of any person who shall have suffered the death penalty, either in this state or in any part of the United States, for the crime of murder, after such body shall have been delivered from the custody of the sheriff, and it shall be unlawful to have other than a private funeral in connection with the burial of the body of any such offender; any person offending against the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, nothing in this act contained shall prevent relatives within the first or second degrees and the clergymen officiating from being present and viewing the body.


56. Any person who, whether as parent, relative, guardian, employer, or otherwise, having in his or her custody or control, lawfully or unlawfully, any minor child under the age of eighteen years, who shall sell, apprentice, give way, let out, employ, hire or otherwise dispose of such minor or minors for the purpose of beg­ging, singing and playing on a musical instruments, rope‑walking, dancing, or for any mendicant or wandering business whatsoever, or in any immoral conduct or occu­pation in the streets, roads and other highways or public places of this state, and any person who shall take, receive, hire, employ, use or have in custody any such minor or minors, under the age of eighteen years, and use or employ him, her or them in any such purpose, or any of them, for any mendicant or immoral business whatsoever, either in public or private places within this state, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and punished accordingly; and if, upon ouch conviction, the minor or minors shall have no home or means of support and no one to take proper care of him, her or them, the court may, in its discretion, if it shall appear a humane and proper thing to do, commit such minor or minors to the state reform school for boys, or the state industrial school for girls, until said minor or minors attain the age of eighteen years, or for a less age, in the discretion of the court.