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72 W. Va. L. Rev. 99 (1969-1970)
Criminal Law--West Virginia Riot Law

handle is hein.journals/wvb72 and id is 105 raw text is: 


LEGISLATIVE COMMENTS


           Criminal   Law  -   West  Virginia  Riot  Law
     During  1968  America's  cities and college campuses  were  the
scene of many   violent demonstrations  and  riots. State legislatures
throughout   the  country, prompted by these occurrences, began
reappraising  and modifying   existing riot control laws. One  such
riot control law to come  under  scrutiny was that of West  Virginia,
which  was amended   at the regular session of the 1969 West Virginia
Legislature.2 The West  Virginia Riot  Act, as amended,  changes the
responsibility for the determination and  control of riots from what
had  been  essentially a judicial function  to one  which  is now  a
police function. That   it, it places the burden on the state police,
the sheriffs, and the city mayors, rather than on judges and justices
of the peace  as had the prior law. In addition,  the Legislature at-
tempted   to give law  enforcement  officials the speciffic authority
necessary to  control group  violence. It gave  them   the power   to
enforce  curfews, prohibit  the sale of liquor, beer,  firearms, and
dangerous   explosives, and to  search without  a warrant   when  in
fresh pursuit of a sniper or when  there is reason to believe guns
or other dangerous  articles are on the premises and will be removed
before a search warrant can be obtained. A  general power  was given
whereby   officials may take  all actions which  are necessary  and
reasonable  under the emergency   to restore law and order.3



    'E.g, VA. CODE ANN. § § 18.1-254.01 to 254.12 (Supp. 1968). 21 OK.A. STAT.
ANN. § 1320.1-1320.9 (Supp. 1969).
    'W.VA. Acts, 1969, c. 37, 6; W. VA. CoDE, ch. 61, art. 6, § 1-5 (Michie Supp.
1969), amending W. Va. Code ch. 61, art. 6, §§ 1-5 (Michie 1966).
    'W. VA. CODE ch. 61, art. 6; § 1 a (Michie Supp. 1969).
       Members  of the department of public safety, sheriffs, and mayors,
    and those acting under their order, may, when engaged in suppressing
    a riot, rout, or unlawful assemblage, cordon off any area or areas
    threatened by such riot, rout, or unlawful assemblage and may take all
    actions which are necessary and reasonable under the emergency to restore
    law and order, and such actions may be, but are not limited to, the
    following:
        (a) Prohibit the sale, dispensing, furnishing or transportation of
    firearms or other dangerous weapons, ammunition, dynamite or other
    dangerous explosives in, to, or from such areas.
        (b) Prohibit the sale, offering for sale, dispensing, furnishing or
    consumption of alcoholic beverages or nonintoxicating beer in a public
    place in such areas, and prohibit the transportation of alcoholic beverages
    or nonintoxicating beer in, to, or from such areas.
        (c) Impose curfews, as required, to control movement of persons in,
    to, and from such areas.
        (d) Enter a private dwelling or other building or other private
    place in such areas when in fresh pursuit of a rioter, when in search


99


1970]

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