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Prosecutors say it's time to revamp criminal code

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 | 7:24 a.m. CST; updated 11:30 a.m. CST, Wednesday, March 5, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri prosecutors and victim advocacy groups are urging the legislature to pass an overhaul of the state's criminal laws.

At a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, supporters argued the measure would lengthen jail terms for violent repeat offenders, while going easier on non-violent criminals.

The measure's sponsor in the Senate, Democratic Minority Leader Jolie Justus, said the biggest obstacle facing the bill is its length — 1,100 pages.

Justus' bill would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors, as well as reduce the penalties for certain drug crimes for first-time offenders.

House and Senate panels have both endorsed the legislation. The Senate version is awaiting floor debate, while the House bill is in the Rules Committee.


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