Amy Fite | St. Louis Public Radio

Amy Fite

s_falkow |Flickr

A comprehensive rewrite of Missouri’s criminal code will take effect Jan. 1. The overhaul stems from legislation passed in 2014 and marks the first complete revision since the late 1970s.

“Overall, the idea was just to make the code logical, coherent and consistent — both structurally and internally,” said Amy Fite, president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

Hammering out the wide-ranging legislation took nearly eight years and two legislative sessions, involving significant contributions from state prosecutors, a special committee of the Missouri Bar and other law enforcement groups.

Dozens of cannabis clones grow under high-intensity lights at BeLeaf's growing and processing facility in Earth City, Missouri.
File photo | Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

Efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri failed to pass the state legislature last session or qualify for the ballot next week, but nine pot-related measures are up for votes in other states on Election Day.  As laws and public opinion toward the cannabis plant continue shifting nationwide, the Show Me State is taking a wait-and-see approach.

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The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a judge should not have appointed a public defender to a client after the public defenders alerted the courts they had too many cases.

The court handed down the 4-3 decision Tuesday.

The case goes back to July 2010 when a Christian County judge appointed a public defender despite their "limited availability" status.

Christian County prosecutor Amy Fite says it’s hard on victims and defendants when cases are held up.