Criminal Law. Chapter 4 The General Principles of Criminal Liability: Mens Rea, Concurrence, and Causation Joel Samaha, 9th Ed. The Principle of Mens Rea. The “mental element,” “mental attitude” or “state of mind”
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The General Principles of Criminal Liability:Mens Rea, Concurrence, and Causation
Joel Samaha, 9th Ed.
The “mental element,” “mental attitude” or “state of mind”
“He who kills…without intent to kill should be acquitted, because a crime is not committed unless the intent to injure intervene; and the desire and purpose distinguish evildoing”
(Bracton, 1256, quoted in Sayre, 1932, 985).
“Western civilized nations have long looked to the wrongdoer’s mind to determine both the propriety and the grading of punishment”
(U.s. v. Cordoba-Hincapie, 2001, 489).
and, Commonwealth v. Barnette, 699 N.E.2d 1230 (Mass.App. 1998)
“Criminal laws cannot be ignored or contradicted by allowing defendants to plead that their ignorance or mistake of law negated the mental element of a crime.”
** In other words, final interpretation is determined by the court.