On December 6, 1972, a new Crimes Code, was approved, to be effective June 6, 1973. The new Crimes Code is the first real legislative attempt since 1860 to codify the criminal laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However, because of political realities, it is not a complete codification, but rather an attempt to restructure only those provisions found in the former Penal Code.
In the comments of the Joint State Government Commission, the drafters of the new Crimes Code sought to convince the legislature and the public that few substantive changes had been made., In fact, by the elimination of common law offenses, the grading of offenses, the mandating of jury instructions, and the establishment of new defenses, the Crimes Code did in fact make changes in the substantive criminal law and, in addition, to the entire administration of criminal justice.
This article will seek to explore some of the practical problems, from making a lawful arrest, through preparation of indictments, to trial, that have resulted from the new Crimes Code.
Duquesne Law Review
Martin H. Belsky, Joseph Dougherty, and Steven H. Goldblatt, Three Prosecutors Look at the New Pennsylvania Crimes Code, 12 Duquesne Law Review 793 (1973).