This week the Joint Interim Committee on the Missouri Criminal Code issued its report for revising Missouri’s sentencing laws. Over the course of six weeks this fall the committee heard testimony from a variety of prosecutors, public defenders, defense attorneys, criminal offenders, victims and advocacy groups regarding changes in Missouri’s sentencing laws.
Missouri’s criminal code has not been revised since 1979. For the last four years the Missouri Bar Association has been meeting to consider large-scale revisions in the code to improve cohesiveness and consistency of sentencing. The Missouri Bar’s effort led to legislation being introduced in 2012 to revise the Code. Because of the scope of the changes, the interim committee was formed to analyze the recommended changes and to get public input.
In its report the Interim Committee did support revising the Criminal Code and suggested that the legislation from 2012 be a starting point for deliberation. While the committee as a whole did not endorse or reject any specific proposal, they recognized that various groups would likely want to amend the 2012 legislation.