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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70571 Find in a Library
Title: Comments Upon the New Jersey Penal Code
Journal: Criminal Justice Quarterly  Volume:7  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1980)  Pages:89-100
Author(s): R E Knowlton
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Aspects of the New Jersey Penal Code enacted in 1978 are described and critiqued.
Abstract: Following a discussion of the goals of a revision of a criminal code, the general provisions of the New Jersey Code are considered. Specific problems in the provisions are discussed under the subjects of the requirement of reasonableness, the test of responsibility, liability for the acts of others, and entrapment. The categories of offenses in the Code discussed are homicide, sex offenses, and burglary. The Code simplifies the definition of murder through the removal of the issue of capital punishment, making it unnecessary to distinguish between degrees. A straightforward statement of culpability was made possible by the Code's precise definition of the kinds of culpability factors. In revising sex offenses, the Code excludes from criminal conduct sex acts between adults in private. The Code makes clear that shoplifting is not burglary in order to obviate a New Jersey Supreme Court decision that equates the two offenses (Davis v. Hellwig). Sentencing provisions in the Code are discussed under judicial discretion, parole, and sentencing alternatives. Areas of decriminalization are also treated. These include not only adult consensual sex acts, but also public drunkenness and loitering. Overall, the Code is considered to be an improvement over the previous criminal code. Footnotes with references are provided.
Index Term(s): Burglary; Criminal codes; Criminal intent; Decriminalization; Homicide; Judicial discretion; Law reform; New Jersey; Parole; Sentencing/Sanctions; Sex offenses
Note: Reprinted by permission of Rutgers Law Review
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