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September 11 Notes and Briefs - Chapter 5 Mens Rea Elements...

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September 11, 2008 Chapter 5 Mens Rea Elements of a crime: Mens Rea- the mental element, what you think Actus Reus- the physical act based on the mens rea Causation- action (actus reus) and thoughts (mens rea) have to cause harm, factual analysis of what caused the harm Harm- whatever happened in the crime (homicide- a dead body) A. Nature of Mens Rea United States v Cordoba-Hincapie United States District Court E.D. NY, (1993) Mens Rea: a guilty mind, a guilty or wrongful purpose, criminal intent. The actus non rule: An act does not make the doer of it guilty unless the mind be guilty; that is, unless the intent be criminal. Broadly (culpability meaning) speaking mens rea means guilty mind, vicious will immorality of motive or morally culpable state of mind. o D is guilty of a crime if she commits the social harm of the offence with any morally blameworthy state of mind; it is not significant whether she caused the social harm intentionally or instead with some other blameworthy mental state (i.e. recklessly). Narrowly (elemental meaning) speaking mens rea refers to the mental state D must have had with regard to the social harm elements set out in the definition of the offence. o D is not guilty of an offence, even if she has a culpable frame of mind, if she lacks the mental state specified in the definition of the crime. o Example: D is not guilty of the offence if she does X recklessly, even though recklessness is a morally blameworthy state of mind because D does not have the specific state of mind required for this offence. Hypo: Man wants to rob a bank, another guy hands him a gun and says it’s a great idea, they are both culpable because they both have mens rea to rob bank, different actus reus, but both did something. Both had all elements of a crime. I go home tonight and shoot my husband… how can you tell what I was thinking? Look at events and circumstances before crime and after crime to know what mens rea is. This is important because it increases criminal liability if there was intent, and punishment issues. Causation: Bus slams into a person, person is in a coma for 8 months, then get nmonia and then infection and then dies. What do we do with the bus driver? Mens rea: intent to kill Actus Reus: slammed bus Causation: need to look at the hospital, why did the person get the infection? Cleanlieness of hospital Harm: dead body. Chapter 7 Criminal Homicide A. Overview Common Law Origins and Statutory Reform 1. Common Law Background:
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Homicide is the killing of a human being by another human being. Criminal Homicide is the unlawful killing of a human being by another human being. A murder was defined as the unlawful killing of another human being with the malice aforethought.
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