A Starting Point

This is a list of selected sources that may be of use to the researcher as a starting point, including complete drafts and critiques of the code. Sources in this section are also included in the Documents by Penal Code Chapter section of this guide.

This guide is primarily organized from 1973 backwards through the revision process. However, for the researcher who has a pre-1966 statute that they are interested in tracing, the Texas Penal Code Allocation Tables (August 15, 1966, B600.8 P371a ) is an excellent place to start. This document contains a complete listing of the relevant pre-1966 Texas statutes to be addressed in the revised penal code, a proposed title and chapter outline for the revised code, and a table of the articles to be revised matched with the relevant Model Penal Code articles.

There are three complete drafts of the revised penal code from various points in the revision process in the Legislative Reference Library's collection:

While it is not a draft, another source of interest is A Summary of the New Texas Penal Code: Written Especially for Law Enforcement Officers (1973?, 345 V277) by Carol Vance, the district attorney of Harris County. He wrote this as an outline of the newly enacted code for law enforcement officers and it contains commentary on some of the more significant changes.

There are also a few documents that are primarily critiques and responses to criticism of the code as a whole.

  • The revision committee responded to various criticisms made of the project in The Proposed Texas Penal Code: A Reply to its Critics (March 1, 1971; B600.8 P371c).
  • Carol Vance, the district attorney of Harris County, also presented prepared remarks on the code to a joint committee of the House and Senate; these remarks can be found in Prepared Remarks by Carol. S. Vance, District Attorney, Harris County, Texas Concerning the revision of the Texas Penal Code (March 1, 1971; B600.8 P371v).
  • The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association also voiced its objections in the Provisions of proposed Penal Code (S.B. 34 by Herring) objectionable to Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (February 21, 1973; 345 T312).
  • Retired district judge A.R. Stout wrote a strongly worded opposition to the proposed code in The Proposed Penal Code By Keeton Et Al Should Be Defeated (April 16, 1971; 345 ST77).