2013 Mississippi Code
Title 23 - ELECTIONS
§ 23-15-875 - Prohibitions against charges with respect to integrity of candidate; proceedings against violators

MS Code § 23-15-875 (2013) What's This?

No person, including a candidate, shall publicly or privately make, in a campaign then in progress, any charge or charges reflecting upon the honesty, integrity or moral character of any candidate, so far as his private life is concerned, unless the charge be in fact true and actually capable of proof; and any person who makes any such charge shall have the burden of proof to show the truth thereof when called to account therefor under any affidavit or indictment against him for a violation of this section. Any language deliberately uttered or published which, when fairly and reasonably construed and as commonly understood, would clearly and unmistakably imply any such charge, shall be deemed and held to be the equivalent of a direct charge. And in no event shall any such charge, whether true or untrue, be made on the day of any election, or within the last five (5) days immediately preceding the date of any election.

Any person who shall willfully and knowingly violate this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon the affidavit of any two (2) credible citizens of this state, before any judicial officer having jurisdiction of misdemeanors, said officer shall thereupon forthwith issue his warrant for the arrest of said alleged offender, and when arrested the officer shall forthwith examine into the matter, and if the proof of guilt be evident or the presumption great, the officer shall place the accused person under bond in the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), with two (2) or more good sureties, conditioned that the person bound will appear at the next term of the court where the offense is cognizable, and in addition that the person bound will not further violate this section; and additional affidavits may be filed and additional bonds may be required for each and every subsequent offense. When and if under a prosecution under this section, the alleged offender is finally acquitted, the persons who made the original affidavit shall pay all costs of the proceedings.

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