POL- Jan 28

POL- Jan 28 - Why is mens rea constitutionally required for...

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Why is mens rea constitutionally required for actus reus? -Social stigma is the same for murder as attempted murder -No successful actus reus, so mens rea is all you have Is it reasonable to believe in God? Is it reasonable to believe in divine intervention? Case: R vs. Tutton -Child very sick with diabetes, admitted to hospital with serious sickness -Parents were taught how to take care of the child, about the disease. Parents were very religious. Doctors told the parents that there was no known cure, and he would always need insulin. -Mother stopped giving the son injections one day because they thought divine intervention would save him, and he became very sick. Parents rushed him to the hospital and his life was saved him just in time… mother had a dream a year later and stopped giving him insulin. He died. Charged with manslaughter and death by criminal negligence. Negligence- knew (subjective) or “ought to have known” (objective) -On trial, the parents were convicted. Later the judge ordered a new trial because jury wasn’t given proper instruction. -Ontario Court of Appeal said it was a crime of omission, therefore criminal negligence requires a subjective standard of mens rea. -Defendants had an honest but mistaken view of the son’s disease, and belief in divine intervention. -In order for crown to succeed, needed to prove they knew about the risk. A wilful blindness. -Beliefs do not have to be reasonably held. Dissenting opinion: if they honestly believe that religion would save their child they should be acquitted, or if they really felt that treatment was no longer needed. However, the [first] defence is not a defence in criminal law (and the second one
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POL- Jan 28 - Why is mens rea constitutionally required for...

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