Mo. senators consider criminal code overhaul

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Some lawmakers are worried a proposed overhaul of the Missouri's criminal code could be too taxing for attorneys and judges to implement.

At a Wednesday hearing on the measure, some members of the Senate judiciary committee questioned whether the new code should go into effect all at once or be rolled out gradually over the next few years.

Joel Elmer, a division director of Missouri's public defender system, says implementing the code in different stages would be difficult. The overhaul would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and organize crimes under the new scale.

The committee did not vote on the proposal, but its chairman, Sen. Bob Dixon, of Springfield, says passing the measure in the next few weeks is a priority.

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