***This is all you would have to say on a test – just compare the actions and defense of someone to the elements of the crime and see if they committed all the elements and if their defense contends that they did not perform one of the elements. If it shows they performed the elements and they cannot contend that, they are guilty.*** Thus, the appeals court affirms the ruling and does not find for Baker 5
o Unless there is an element that REQUIRES the knowledge of the criminality of the action; then that knowledge is not required for the act to be criminal under the statute Cheek v. U.S. o IN this case, the statute had an element like this^ -- the criminal statute req’d knowledge by ∆ that they were violating the tax code o This is because the U.S. will fine you in a civil way if you knowingly ignore the tax code. This statute is about only “locking up” those that make an effort to knowingly break the law and cheat their taxes o The court finds that, Cheek’s belief of the validity of the tax code is not relevant. He knows the law, and chooses to not pay based on some blanket constitutional argument against paying taxes is not sufficient defense – still “willfully” attempting to evade the tax code He knows that the statute requires paying taxes but you claim the statute is void. o Unless your ignorance to the law negates an element of the law, it is NOT a defense Being mistaken about understanding of the Tax code defeats the charge of willfulness under the statue; however, knowing the law and violating it based upon some constitutional principle falls into he elements of the statute and is not a defense Crim Law – notes on Mens Rea and - 9.28.16 Readings for today: o There is a distinction in Crim Law b/w Affirmative Defenses and negating an element of the statute charged Hendershott v. People o Mens Rea for statute is knowledge or recklessness o ∆ claims that he had a mental impairment o Trial court says non-admissible element Appeal court says that it is unconstit. To NOT let him defend himself of the mens rea charged by providing the evidence of his mental state. o If there is evidence that negates an element of the law or could, M.P.C. says you have to allow that o The talk in the case about specific intent v. general intent is not important IGNORE it, doesn’t really matter b/c the court says their holding applies to either situation ultimately. o This is not an insanity defense, it is a straight defense trying to knock out an element. o Note on P. 268 – excerpt for Hendershott case: court distinguishes mental disease from Voluntary intoxication that the intox. could not negate the element of mens rea here. This basically means that anything you do after you voluntary choose to get drunk, this mens rea applies to your later action.
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