House Committee Advances Bill to Reorganize Missouri’s Criminal Code
Senate Panel Expected to Advance Similar Measure Today
Feb. 3, 2014
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri House
Judiciary Committee advanced legislation last week to reorganize Missouri’s
criminal code making it more transparent to the public. The measure, House Bill 1371,
is the result of four years of cooperative work of The Missouri Bar Criminal
Code Revision Subcommittee comprised of experienced prosecutors and defense
attorneys, as well as representatives from the judiciary and the legislature.
It marks the first major update of the Missouri Criminal Code since 1979.
is sponsored by the committee chairman, Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia. The supporting
vote by the committee recommends the bill for debate by the full House.
Bar President Jack Brady, of Kansas City, testified at the committee’s hearing
on the bill and said the reorganization is needed.
and updating the Code will allow the criminal justice system to be more efficient
and work better for the people of Missouri,” Brady said. “We appreciate the
committee’s swift action to advance the bill and are thankful for the time
committee members have devoted to carefully examining this extensive
legislation over the past year.”
legislation, Senate Bill 491, was introduced in the Senate by
Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, and has been heard by the Senate Judiciary
and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. The committee could vote on the
Senate version as early as today.
Criminal Code includes statutes that pertain to crimes and punishments,
sentencing provisions, defenses, and principles of liability. Since its enactment,
some statutes have become outdated, new crimes have been defined and some
punishments have become inconsistent.
noted the measures include the reclassification of both felony and misdemeanor offenses
in which a fifth felony class and a fourth misdemeanor class would be created.
The subcommittee agreed the new penalty scales would allow for punishment to better
correspond with the nature of the crime. The proposal also would increase
fine amounts that have not been adjusted since the Code was enacted.
year, The Missouri Bar drafts and endorses a variety of legislative proposals
designed to improve the law on behalf of the public. The Missouri Bar is
a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving the legal profession,
the law and the administration of justice for all Missourians. Created in 1944
by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri, it serves all 30,000 of Missouri’s
practicing attorneys. To achieve its mission, The Missouri Bar provides a wide
range of services and resources to its members, as well as the media,
educators and the citizens of Missouri. To learn more about The Missouri
Bar, visit www.mobar.org.