Courts and the Judiciary

There's already a law for that

There's already a law for that

American criminal codes are a mess, and every year they become more convoluted, more likely to foster injustice. States across the nation are trying to clean up the muddle, but prosecutors often threaten those efforts. In the 1960s and '70s, three-quarters of the states modernized their criminal laws based on the Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute, simplifying what had been a chaotic collection of overlapping, inconsistent statutes accumulated over the previous century. Unfortunately, the same political processes that generated the earlier chaos went to work on the new codes. As politicians felt the need to show their constituents that they were “on the...