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Reasonable Doubt

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt mean that it is not enought to prove it was more likely than not that an element of the crime was true . The proof must be such that a resonable person could not conclude the element was not true

Actus Rea

The criminal Act

Mens Rea

The criminal intent or state of mind

Model Penal Code (MPC)

Proposed criminal law developed by the American Law institute a group of lawyers, judges and teachers. Many states have modeled their criminal codes on the Model Penal Code

Specific Intent

The intent necessary for one or more elements of an offense murder for example requires the specific intent that the act be done intentionally or purposely


A form of specific intent requiring a showing that the actor knew of the existence of certain facts. For example one can not be guitly of possession of stolen property if one deos not know property is stolen


The mental purpose or design to commit a specific act (or omission)


The causes, inducement, or reason why an act is committed

Strict Liability Crime

Crime that does not require proof of the mental element essential to true crimes

Proximate Cause

The ordinary and probable cause of a result


A rule of law that the trier of fact shall assume the existence of a state of facts without evidence being produced. Presumptions are rebuttavble or irrebuttable


A conclusion or deduction that a jury or judge may draw from of fact or a group of facts presented to them

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