A committee setup by the Missouri Bar has put together a proposed plan to update the criminal code in Missouri. One of the most significant changes to Missouri's criminal code would be the creation of a new felony class. Missouri's criminal code has not been updated since 1979.

The most important change to the criminal code of Missouri would be the addition of a fifth felony class. The fifth felony class would narrow the difference in sentencing standards between current Class B and Class C felonies.

Under the proposed felony class system, new class C felonies would be created and the felonies would have a sentencing range of three to 10 years. The committee also proposed changes to update certain offenses that have not been changed in 30 years.

The committee that proposed the changes is comprised of defense attorneys, prosecutors and representatives from the state legislative and judicial branches. The committee has worked on the proposed changes to the criminal code for four years.

A member from the committee that reviewed the state criminal code said that even though the legal system is adversarial in nature, professionals that represent both sides of the criminal justice system were able to work together to create a proposal that will enhance public safety and provide greater judicial economy.

Another group has been working on changes to the state's correction system. The name of the group that has been working on the correction system changes is the Missouri Working Group on Sentencing and Corrections. The correction system group has studied how the state can save money and improve public safety. The group is made up of members of the state judiciary, corrections officials and lawmakers.

Source: stltoday.com, "Missouri Bar proposes overhaul of criminal code," Jason Hancock, Dec. 21, 2011