Friday, September 14, 2012

Mens Rea and State Crimes

This White Paper by John S. Baker, Jr., was recently posted at the national Federalist Society site.
"The public understanding of what is and is not a crime has eroded over time. The common law was clear: a crime requires the union of a prohibited act or actus reus and a guilty mind or mens rea. Increasingly, however, 'strict liability' offenses requiring no proof of a mens rea are becoming more common. This article briefly reviews this development and proposals for addressing the trend at the state level."
Wisconsin is discussed beginning at page 77.