United States v. Blarek, 7 F. Supp. 2d 192 (E.D.N.Y. 1998)

In "The Aims of the Criminal Law," 23 Law & Contemporary Problems 401, 441 (1958), Henry Hart proposed the following amendment to Model Penal Code § 1.02:

Section 1.02. Purposes;  Principles of Construction.

 (1) The general purposes of the provisions governing the definition of offenses are:

  (a) to foster the development of personal capacity for responsible decision to the end that every individual may realize his potentialities as a participating and contributing member of his community;

  (b) to declare the obligation of every competent person to comply with (1) those standards of behavior which a responsible individual should know are imposed by the conditions of community life if the benefits of community living are to be realized; and (2) those further obligations of conduct, specially declared by the legislature, which the individual either in fact knows or has good reason to know he is supposed to comply with, and to prevent violations of these basic obligations of good citizenship by providing for public condemnation of the violations and appropriate treatment of the violators;

  (c) to safeguard conduct that is not blameworthy from condemnation as criminal;

  (d) to give fair warning of the nature of the conduct declared to constitute an offense;

  (e) to differentiate on reasonable grounds between serious and minor offenses.

 (2) The general purposes of the provisions governing the sentencing and treatment of offenders are:

  (a) to further the purposes of the provisions governing the definition of offenses;

  (b) to promote the correction and rehabilitation of offenders;

  (c) to subject to a special public control those persons whose conduct indicates that they are disposed to commit crimes;

  (d) to safeguard offenders against excessive, disproportionate or arbitrary punishment;

  (e) to give fair warning of the nature of the sentences that may be imposed on conviction of an offense;

  (f) to differentiate among offenders with a view to a just individualization in their treatment;

  (g) to define, coordinate and harmonize the powers, duties and functions of the courts and of administrative officers and agencies responsible for dealing with offenders;

  (h) to advance the use of generally accepted scientific methods and knowledge in the sentencing and treatment of offenders;

  (i) to integrate responsibility for the administration of the correctional system in a State Department of Correction [or other single department or agency].

 (3) The provisions of the Code shall be construed according to the fair import of their terms but when the language is susceptible of differing constructions it shall be interpreted to further the general purposes stated in this Section and the special purposes of the particular provision involved.  The discretionary powers conferred by the Code shall be exercised in accordance with the criteria stated in the Code and, insofar as such criteria are not decisive, to further the general purposes stated in this Section.