Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 1A. Criminal Code Reform Commission.


§ 3–151. Establishment of the Criminal Code Reform Commission.

(a) The Criminal Code Reform Commission ("Commission"") is established as an independent agency within the District of Columbia government, consistent with the meaning of the term "independent agency" as provided in § 1-603.01(13).

(b) The Commission shall be composed of the Executive Director and such staff as necessary to complete the work of the Commission.

(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Executive Director shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Council, subject to the approval of the majority of the Council. The Executive Director shall serve for a term of 3 years, or until the Commission is dissolved pursuant to § 3-156, and shall be paid a rate of compensation as may be established from time to time by the Council.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, as of October 8, 2016, the Criminal Code Revision Project Director of the District of Columbia Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission shall be the Executive Director of the Commission.

(d) The Executive Director shall:

(1) Be a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar;

(2) Be responsible for and oversee the daily operations of the Commission;

(3) Supervise Commission staff; and

(4) Develop and institute internal policies, procedures, and processes to ensure efficient operations.

(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, all employees of the Commission shall be, or shall become within 180 days after hire, a resident of the District of Columbia

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Executive Director as of October 8, 2016 shall be exempt from the residency requirement in paragraph (1) of this subsection.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 3122, 63 DCR 10775.)

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) approval of an annual salary of $160,587.59 for Richard Schmechel, as Executive Director of the Criminal Code Reform Commission, see § 2 of Criminal Code Reform Commission Executive Director Salary Approval Emergency Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-526, Oct. 31, 2016, 63 DCR 13607).


§ 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).


§ 3–153. Code Revision Advisory Group.

(a) The Commission shall establish a Code Revision Advisory Group ("Advisory Group") to review and provide information and suggestions on proposals prepared by the Commission related to the comprehensive criminal code reform recommendations required by § 3-152. The Advisory Group shall consist of 5 voting members and 2 nonvoting members as follows:

(1) The voting members of the Advisory Group shall consist of the following:

(A) The United States Attorney for the District of Columbia or his or her designee;

(B) The Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia or his or her designee;

(C) The Attorney General for the District of Columbia or his or her designee; and

(D) Two professionals from established organizations, including institutions of higher education, devoted to the research and analysis of criminal justice issues, appointed by the Council;

(2) The non-voting members of the Commission shall consist of the following:

(A) The Chairperson of the Council committee with jurisdiction over the Commission or his or her designee; and

(B) The Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice or his or her designee.

(b) Meetings of the Advisory Group shall be conducted by the Commission's Executive Director, with meetings scheduled by the Executive Director as necessary to fulfill the statutory responsibilities of the Commission.

(c) The Commission shall provide drafts of its recommended reforms to criminal statutes to the Advisory Group in the form of reports. Advisory Group members may provide to the Commission written comments in response to those recommendations within a reasonable period of time, to be determined by the Executive Director, but not less than one month.

(d) The Commission shall consider all written comments that are timely received from Advisory Group members under subsection (c) of this section and propose all final recommendations to the Council based on the comments received.

(e) The voting members of the Advisory Group shall vote to approve the final recommendations proposed by the Commission, with a majority of voting members necessary to approve the recommendations, before their submittal to the Council and the Mayor under § 3-152(a).

(f) The Commission shall compile and make publicly available a record of all written comments received from Advisory Group members under subsection (c) of this section.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 3124, 63 DCR 10775.)

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.


§ 3–154. Reporting requirements.

(a) The Commission shall file quarterly reports with the Council that provide a summary of activities during the prior quarter.

(b) The Commission shall file an annual report with the Council before March 31 of each year that includes:

(1) A summary and copy of all recommendations for reforms to criminal statutes developed by the Commission during the previous calendar year;

(2) A summary and copy of comments received from the Advisory Group during the previous calendar year and their disposition;

(3) A summary of other Commission activities during the previous calendar year;

(4) A description of any problems discovered with prior Commission work or changes to prior work that are necessary due to legislative changes or court rulings;

(5) A description of any issues that could delay or prevent the Commission from timely fulfilling its statutory duties; and

(6) A work plan and schedule, or revisions to an existing work plan and schedule, for carrying out the responsibilities of the Commission to meet statutory requirements.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 3125, 63 DCR 10775.)

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.


§ 3–155. Transition from District of Columbia Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission.

(a) All functions, authority, programs, positions, personnel, property, records, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds available or to be made available to the Criminal Code Revision Project previously established pursuant to § 3-101.01, are transferred to the Criminal Code Revision Commission.

(b) All rules, orders, obligations, determinations, grants, contracts, licenses, and agreements of the Criminal Code Revision Project transferred to the Criminal Code Revision Commission under subsection (a) of this section shall continue in effect according to their terms until lawfully amended, repealed, or modified.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 3126, 63 DCR 10775.)

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.


§ 3–156. Sunset.

This chapter shall expire on October 1, 2020.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 3127, 63 DCR 10775; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 3002(b), 65 DCR 9388; Sept. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 23-16, § 3003(b), 66 DCR 8621.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3003(b) 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(b) 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(b) 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(b) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).