State Senators to debate changes to criminal code

State Senators are considering big changes to Missouri’s set of criminal laws. The proposed criminal code was introduced in the senate through a 1,100-page bill, SB 491 which is a bipartisan proposal that calls for many necessary and sweeping changes to the state’s criminal law. The new code would, in some cases, distribute justice and punishment differently since some first-time offenses would carry less weight and repeat offenses would carry more. For example, a first-time marijuana possession offense would not come with a jail sentence. The proposed code also adds new classifications for felony and misdemeanor crimes, which could give prosecutors and defense attorneys more options. The senate could debate the bill next week.

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