Statutes: Crimes for the Times

In the hundred years since it was drafted, New York State's penal code has been subjected to haphazard amendment, but not until a state commission started the job 2½ years ago did anyone try to renovate the entire collection of statutes. Reorganized and rewritten in clear English, the commission's proposed code was delivered to the legislature last week. In whatever form it is finally passed, its most important contribution is likely to be its redefinition of crimes. Examples:

∙ MURDER: The distinction between first-and second-degree murder, which depends upon whether the murderer killed with "premeditation and deliberation," has been eliminated....

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