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Chpt 4: The General Principles of Criminal Liability- Mens Rea, concurrence, and Causation
blameworthiness based on mens rea; deserving of punishment because of individual responsibility for actions
the idea that we can only punish people that we can blame, and we can only blame people that are responsible for what they do.
principle of mens rea
(see mens rea)
the reason why a defendant commits a crime.
fault that requires a "bad mind" in the actor
requires no purposeful or conscious bad mind in the actor; it sets a standard of what the "average person should have known"
intent to commit the actus reus- the act required in the definition of the crime.
the attitude represented by subjective fault, where there's a "bad" mind or will that triggers the act; the intent to do something beyond the actus reus
general intent "plus"
"general intent" refers to the intent to commit the actus reus of the crime and "plus" refers to some "special mental element" in addition to the intent to commit the criminal act
the specific intent to act and/or cause in criminal harm
consciously acting or causing a result
the conscious creation of substantial and unjustifiable risk
the unconscious creation of substantial and unjustifiable risks
the Latin name for "awareness"
liability without fault, or in the absence of mens rea; it's based on voluntary action alone.
principle of concurrence
some mental fault has to trigger the actus reus in criminal conduct crimes and the cause in bad-result crimes
principle of causation
requirement that criminal conduct cause a harm defined in the criminal code
conduct that, in fact, leads to a harmful result
"but for" cause
cause in fact; the actor's conduct sets in motion a chain of events that, sooner or later, leads to a result
the main cause of the result of criminal conduct; legal cause
the cause that either interrupts a chain of events or substantially contributes to a result
ignorance of the law
a defense that the defendant didn't know the rules, so he couldn't know he was breaking the law.
mistake of facts
to be mistaken about the law or fact; to believe the facts are one thing when they're really another; a defense whenever the mistake prevents the formation of any fault-based mental attitude.