The Behavioral Analysis of Mens Rea (Doctrine of Culpable Mental States)

Lawrence E. Fraley


During the last twenty years, a model penal code has been repeatedly drafted and offered to the various state legislatures for adoption.  Widespread acceptance would insure uniformity among state penal codes, which in the past have been diverse and idiosyncratic.  Many states have adopted parts of the model code or edited versions of it.  This paper reviews a section of that code dealing with the general requirements of culpability, in particular culpable mental states, generally discussed under the legal rubric of "Mens Rea."  Certain social implications are explored.

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