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Full-Text Articles in Law

Environmens Rea, Anthony Moffa Jan 2018

Environmens Rea, Anthony Moffa

Faculty Publications

Many policymakers remain blind to the moral implications of environmental harm caused by government action (or inaction) and have not adequately considered how criminal law deals with similar immoral behavior in other contexts. Building from Lisa Heinzerling’s thought-provoking essay Knowing Killing and Environmental Law, this article considers the possibility of criminal culpability for environmental policy decisions and the implications of that potential culpability for decision-making and communication. It builds from the premise that morality and law universally condemn the knowing killing of other human beings. It matters not that the identities of the dead are unknown. What matters from ...


A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2018

A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay provides an overview of the legal issues relating to intoxication, including the effect of voluntary intoxication in imputing to an offender a required offense culpable state of mind that he may not actually have had at the time of the offense; the effect of involuntary intoxication in providing a defense by negating a required offense culpability element or by satisfying the conditions of a general excuse; the legal effect of alcoholism or addiction in rendering intoxication involuntary; and the limitation on using alcoholism or addiction in this way if the offender can be judged to be reasonably responsible ...


Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2018

Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper is a chapter that will appear in REFORMING CRIMINAL JUSTICE: A REPORT OF THE ACADEMY FOR JUSTICE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOLARSHIP AND REFORM (Erik Luna ed., Academy for Justice 2018). The criminal law treats some people with severe mental disorders doctrinally and practically differently at virtually every stage of the criminal justice process, beginning with potential incompetence to stand trial and ending with the question of competence to be executed, and such people have special needs when they are in the system. This chapter begins by exploring the fundamental mental health information necessary to make informed judgements ...


"Innocence" And The Guilty Mind, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2018

"Innocence" And The Guilty Mind, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

For decades, the “guilty mind” requirement in federal criminal law has been understood as precluding punishment for “morally blameless” (or “innocent”) conduct, the goal being to define the mental element in terms that will protect offenders from conviction unless they had adequate notice of the wrongfulness of their conduct. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Elonis v. United States signals a significant shift in mens readoctrine, recognizing for the first time the potential for disproportionately severe punishment as a justification for heightened mens rea requirements. This long-overdue doctrinal move makes perfect sense because punishment without culpability and excessive ...