Missouri House panel backs criminal code overhaul

Thursday, April 4, 2013 | 7:33 a.m. CDT; updated 9:27 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 4, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's criminal code would get a major makeover under a bill advanced by a House committee.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 10-0 Wednesday to endorse the roughly 1,000-page measure, which creates new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and gives judges more flexibility in sentencing.

The criminal code has not had a major revision since 1979. The process of overhauling it was begun by The Missouri Bar almost five years ago. Lawmakers are working off a draft written by representatives from the state's prosecuting attorneys and public defenders.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has held hearings on its criminal code bill but has not yet voted on the proposal.

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