Relevancy of Mens Rea and Criminal Intent in Modern Prosecutions

Louisiana Bar Journal Vol. 62, No. 5

2 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2018

See all articles by Chase Edwards

Chase Edwards

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: February 1, 2015

Abstract

Successful defenses using an accused’s lack of mens rea or criminal intent have become increasingly rare. One conclusion of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Task Force on Over-Criminalization is that “there are now more than 4,000 federal criminal provisions plus hundreds of thousands of federal regulations that impose criminal penalties, often without requiring that criminal intent be shown to establish guilt.” In this case, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal buttressed these basic legal principles by reversing both the conviction and habitual-offender status of the defendant and entering a judgment of acquittal for lack of proof that the defendant intended any criminal act to be committed.

Keywords: mens rea, criminal intent, criminal prosecution, criminal law

Suggested Citation

Edwards, Chase, Relevancy of Mens Rea and Criminal Intent in Modern Prosecutions (February 1, 2015). Louisiana Bar Journal Vol. 62, No. 5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3097932

Chase Edwards (Contact Author)

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Lafayette, LA 70504
United States

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