GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LAW-mens rea

GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LAW-mens rea - GENERAL...

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GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LAW: MENS REA & CAUSATION
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Criminal Conduct vs. Cause & Effect or Result Crimes Crimes of criminal conduct - 3 general elements* 1. An act 2. Mental state 3. Concurrence Crimes of cause & effect (result) - 5 general elements* 1. An act 4. Causation 2. Mental state 5. Resulting harm 3. Concurrence * Correlate to specific elements of particular crimes; Samaha also refers to as “general principles of liability”
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Concurrence Concept that criminal action and the requisite state of mind must occur at the same time & that the action must be triggered by the state of mind Required element in all crimes except strict liability crimes
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Mens Rea Defined Mens rea = criminal intent; literally means evil mind i.e., the mental state of mind required for conduct to be criminal
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Proving Mens Rea A. Direct evidence 1. Statements of intent or post-action confessions 2. Direct evidence rare B. Indirect evidence – basis for inference of state of mind 1. “Circumstantial” evidence - i.e., evidence that is indirect 2. Usually must infer intent from actions 3. Legal principle - one intends the natural consequences of one’s actions
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LEVELS OF MENS REA Levels of Mens rea based on gradations of fault or culpability
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Mens Rea at Common Law Specific intent - (applies to crimes of cause & result) -
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