Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Three Prosecutors Look at the New Pennsylvania Crimes Code

19 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2013  

Martin H. Belsky

University of Akron - School of Law

Joseph Dougherty

Temple University

Steven H. Goldblatt

Georgetown University

Date Written: 1974


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.

Keywords: Crimes Code, Pennsylvania, criminal laws, Joint State Government Commission

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Belsky, Martin H. and Dougherty, Joseph and Goldblatt, Steven H., Three Prosecutors Look at the New Pennsylvania Crimes Code (1974). Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 12, 1974. Available at SSRN:

Martin H. Belsky (Contact Author)

University of Akron - School of Law ( email )

150 University Ave.
Akron, OH 44325-2901
United States

Joseph Dougherty

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Steven H. Goldblatt

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views