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March 5, 2014

Prosecutors and victims say it’s time to revamp Missouri criminal code

Missouri prosecutors and victim advocacy groups are urging the Legislature to pass an overhaul of the state’s criminal laws.

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, says 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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