Knowledge and Belief as Criminal Law Mental States
13 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2018 Last revised: 5 Oct 2022
Date Written: October 31, 2018
Given how often they appear in criminal statutes, the mental states of “knowledge” and “belief” are surprisingly undertheorized. This short piece offers some descriptive and normative ideas about why these mental states sometimes are used not simply for grading purposes but rather to distinguish criminal from noncriminal conduct.
Keywords: mens rea, knowledge, belief, recklessness
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