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Week 3 Criminal Law

Week 3 Criminal Law - Week 3 Criminal Law Mens Rea...

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Week 3 – Criminal Law Mens Rea, Concurrence, Causation, Ignorance and Mistake Andrew Fox, JD Roosevelt University
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Tonight’s Class Overview: Mens Rea Mike Nolan case 60 minutes lecture 10 minute break 35 minutes group work: Criminal Transmission of HIV 45 minute lecture
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William Blackstone "To make a complete crime, coznizable by human laws, there must be both a will and an act .... As a vicious will without a vicious act is no civil crime, so, on the other hand, an unwarrantable act without a vicious will is no crime at all. So that to constitute a crime against human laws there must be, first, a vicious will, and, secondly, an unlawful act consequent upon such vicious will” (Commentary 21, citation omitted). What does this mean for criminal law and criminal justice?
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Learning Objectives – Ch. 4 1. To understand and appreciate that most serious crimes require criminal intent and a criminal act. 2. To understand the difference between general and specific intent. 3. To understand and appreciate the differences in culpability among the Model Penal Code’s four mental states: purposely, knowingly, recklessly, and negligently. 4. To understand that criminal liability is sometimes imposed without fault. 5. To understand that the element of causation applies to “bad result” crimes. 6. To understand that ignorance of facts and law can create a reasonable doubt that the prosecution has proved the element of criminal intent.
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Mens Rea Mens Rea: culpability or blameworthiness. Justice Holmes stated that “[e]ven a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked” (Justice Holmes, 1963). “evil state of mind” – class examples: murder – premeditated v. burning bed Definitions: mental state, attitude, criminal intent, the mind makes you guilty. To determine propriety and grading of punishment.
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