Criminal code revisions will have to wait until next year

May 15, 2013

Efforts to update Missouri’s criminal code have stalled in the state Senate, where Senator Tom Dempsey declared the bill is dead for this legislative session.

Revisions to Missouri's criminal code will have to wait until the next legislative session.
Credit Null Value / Flickr

The legislature will adjourn on Friday. The criminal code is a compilation of the state’s criminal violations and punishments that are attached to those crimes.

Patrick Starke is the president of the Missouri Bar Association, who helped write the bill. He says the criminal code is just “too big of a whale for the legislature to swallow” in the last few days of the session.

“This is very large." said Starke. "It’s very complex in that it changes hundreds of statutes and I can appreciate that the folks in the Senate want to deliberate about it a little longer than they were afforded the opportunity to do so.”

Starke says he will work with each of the state’s Senators in the coming months to help them understand the new criminal code proposals.

This is the second consecutive year the criminal code bill died at the end of the session. Missouri’s criminal code has not been reorganized since 1979.