Taking Voluntariness Seriously
69 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2013 Last revised: 28 Sep 2013
Date Written: April 22, 2013
The near-unanimous belief among courts and commentators that the criminal law contains a voluntary act requirement obscures deep disagreement about the meaning, scope, and application of that requirement. This Article explores these longstanding and vexing theoretical disagreements, identifies practical problems that result from these uncertainties, and suggests a novel framework for substantially resolving the confusion. The resolution of these questions is no mere academic exercise. The difference in many cases, particularly strict liability prosecutions, will be the difference between guilt and innocence.
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