FG 172 (National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws) (White House Central Files: Subject Files)


These Presidential historical materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify private or personal as well as non-historical items. Such items, if found, have been withdrawn for return to the individual with primary proprietary or commemorative interest in them.

Materials covered by this act have been archivally processed and are described in this finding aid. Items that are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (NA Form 14021) has been placed in the front of each folder describing each withdrawn item. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restrictions. Classified documents may be reviewed for declassification under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear measurement of materials:   9 in.
  • Number of pages:   2,085
Organizational Note

The National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws was established November 8, 1966 by P. L. 89-801. It was a presidential advisory committee and was terminated in January 1971.

The Commission was established to make a study of the statutory and case law of the United States which constitutes the federal system of criminal justice and to formulate and recommend to Congress, legislation to improve the federal system of criminal justice, including recodification and repeal of unnecessary or undesirable statutes.

T he major recommendation of the Commission included the abolition of capital punishment for any federal crime; outlawing of privately held handguns; making possession of marijuana punishable only by fine; removing laws against homosexual acts between consenting adult and retaining laws against the sale or transportation of obscene literature. The Commission also recommended broadening federal criminal jurisdiction to include several crimes which normally come under state and local jurisdiction when they are committed in connection with interstate commerce, in connection with a federal offense on an American ship or on United States property; these crimes include murder, burglary and sexual offenses.

The Commission consisted of 12 leading legislators, judges and lawyers. Three members of the Senate were appointed by the President of the Senate; three members of the House of Representatives were appointed by the Speaker of the House. Three members were appointed by the President and 1 United Sates circuit judge and 2 United States district judge were appointed by the Chief Justice.

In January 1971, the Commission published a report of its finding and recommendation the form of a draft criminal code.

Scope and Content Note

The records consist of correspondence and memoranda.

The terms "Executive" [Ex] and "General" [Gen] are used before the code FG 172 to identify the source of the materials within a specific file. The files designated [Ex] are communications between national, foreign, state and local governments and their agencies, members of Congress and other prominent people. Files designated [Gen] are communications between government officials and private citizens, institutions and other private interests.

Folder Title List

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