First time offenders may catch a break
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First time offenders may catch a break

Date: September 11, 2012
By: Lauren Bale
State Capitol Bureau

First time offender punishment may decrease as Missouri updates the state's criminal code
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Wrap: Drug users may score in a new way after Missouri updates the Criminal Code.

The Missouri Bar spent the last four years studying the criminal code and recommended changes at a public meeting this afternoon.

One of these recommendations was to decrease the punishment for first time offenders of non-violent crimes, including possession of a controlled substance.

The bars co-chair, Jason Lamb, says the severity of the crime is the most important.

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Description: "Some of the drug crimes, for example, particularly first time offenses, might drop down in the recommended punishment and some of the violent crimes will be recommended to go up."

With these recommendations, the legislature will decide what laws need to be revised.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Lauren Bale.

Missouri's criminal code updates may show compassion to drug users
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Wrap: Addicts may catch a break thanks to suggestions made to update the criminal code.

The Missouri Bar has suggested decreasing the punishment for non-violent crimes after conducting a four year long study of the current code.

The bar's co-chair, Jason Lamb, says jailtime won't solve Missouri's drug problems.

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Description: "You have to have drug courts, you have to have effect community based treatment programs that seek to curb and end addiction as it relates to true addicts and non-violent offenders who are commiting ansalary crimes based upon their drug addiction."

The legislature will decide which changes will be made to the code after a series of public hearings.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Lauren Bale.


Missouri's criminal code may create a greater distinction between violent and non-violent crimes.
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Wrap: Missouri's Criminal Code will undergo changes for the first time in over 30 years to lower the punishment of non-violent crimes.

Missouri Bar Co-Chair, Jason Lamb, says the bar recommended creating a fifth class of felonies in order to provide more options when it comes to crime and punishment.

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Description: "That would allow punishment to be spread over a larger spectrum so that you start with the idea of truly non-violent offenses to lengthy prison sentances for truly henious evil offenders."

The legislature will decide whether to make the suggested changes at the end of a series of public hearings beginning next week.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Lauren Bale

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