Bar endorses proposal to change ‘criminal code’

If Missouri lawmakers agree with a Missouri Bar subcommittee’s last four years of work, the state’s criminal code will be rewritten during the next year or two.

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The Bar’s Board of Directors OKed the proposal Friday, with no negative votes.

“Missouri’s criminal code came into existence about 30 years ago — at that point in time, there was a hodge-podge of statutes that comprised the criminal law in Missouri,” Jason Lamb, executive director of the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services, told the Bar leaders before Friday’s vote.

“Then-Attorney General Jack Danforth formed a committee to come up with a comprehensive criminal code ... put them into a precise, structured order and produce a body of law that could be understood and used with ease and efficiency.”

But, after lawmakers put that plan into Missouri’s lawbooks in the late-1970s, Lamb noted, “Through the legislative process, there have been, obviously, a ton of modifications (and) what we have (now) is a code that does not resemble its original structure, and has kind-of reverted back, in some ways, to that original hodge-podge.”

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