Model Penal Code

  1. set of criminal law principles and guidelines issued in 1962 by the American Law Institute, following more than a decade of effort. The code is an attempt to rationalize criminal law in relation to modern society and to establish a logical framework for defining offenses and a consistent body of general principles on such matters as criminal intent and the liability of accomplices. The Model Penal Code had a profound influence on the revision of many individual state codes over the following 20 years; the code itself was never enacted completely, but it inspired and influenced a long period of criminal code reform.