Code of the District of Columbia

§ 3–152. Recommendations for comprehensive criminal code reform.

(a) By September 30, 2020, the Commission shall submit to the Mayor and the Council comprehensive criminal code reform recommendations that revise the language of the District's criminal statutes to:

(1) Use clear and plain language;

(2) Apply consistent, clearly articulated definitions;

(3) Describe all elements, including mental states, that must be proven;

(4) Reduce unnecessary overlap and gaps between criminal offenses;

(5) Eliminate archaic and unused offenses;

(6) Adjust penalties, fines, and the gradation of offenses to provide for proportionate penalties;

(7) Organize existing criminal statutes in a logical order;

(8) Identify any crimes defined in common law that should be codified, and propose recommended language for codification, as appropriate;

(9) Identify criminal statutes that have been held to be unconstitutional and recommend their removal or amendment;

(10) Propose such other amendments as the Commission believes are necessary; and

(11) Enable the adoption of Title 22 as an enacted title of the District of Columbia Official Code.

(b) The comprehensive criminal code reform recommendations required by subsection (a) of this section shall be in the form of a report that:

(1) Includes draft legislation or other specific steps for implementing the recommendations;

(2) Includes charging, sentencing, and other relevant statistics regarding the offenses affected by the recommendations; and

(3) Explains how and why the recommendations change existing District law.

(c) In preparing the comprehensive criminal code reform recommendations required by subsection (a) of this section, the Commission shall:

(1) Consult with the Code Revision Advisory Group established pursuant to § 3-153; and

(2) Review criminal code reforms in other jurisdictions, recommend changes to criminal offenses by the American Law Institute, and survey best practices recommended by criminal law experts.

(d) The Commission shall provide, upon request by the Council, a legal analysis of proposed legislation concerning criminal offenses, including information on existing District law, the laws of other jurisdictions, and model legislation.

(e) The Commission may consult with other District of Columbia, federal, and state agencies, conduct community outreach, perform trainings, and engage in other activities regarding criminal code reform to advance the Commission's statutory duties.

(f) The Commission may request such information as may be necessary to fulfill its statutory responsibilities. Each department, agency, instrumentality, or independent agency of the District of Columbia is authorized and directed, to the extent permitted by law, to furnish the Commission with such requested information.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 3123, 63 DCR 10775; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 3002(a), 65 DCR 9388; Sept. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 23-16, § 3003(a), 66 DCR 8621.)

Expiration of Law

Section 3002(b) of D.C. Law 22-168 amended section 3127 of D.C. Law 21-160 providing that this section shall expire on October 1, 2019.

Section 3127 of D.C. Law 21-160 provided that this section shall expire on October 1, 2018.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3003(a) of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-112, Sept. 4, 2019, 66 DCR 11964).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3003(a) of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-91, July 22, 2019, 66 DCR 8497).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3002(a) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3002(a) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).