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Model penal code

2020

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Default Culpability Requirements: The Model Penal Code And Beyond, Scott England Dec 2020

Default Culpability Requirements: The Model Penal Code And Beyond, Scott England

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines section 2.02(3) of the Model Penal Code, both as proposed by the ALI and as modified by MPC states, and recommends new default culpability rules to replace it.

The Model Penal Code’s default culpability provision, Section 2.02(3), plays a central but often overlooked role in the Code’s celebrated culpability scheme. Section 2.02(3) “reads in” a requirement of recklessness when an offense is silent about the mental state required for an offense element. The provision has profound implications for criminal law because thousands of state offenses fail to prescribe culpability requirements. Without a default culpability rule like Section …