General Requirements of Culpability, N.J.S.A. 2c:2-2

This is the final post in a series on the mental culpability element in criminal law. The previous posts addressed the common law and the Model Penal Code (“MPC”). Those posts are available here, here, and here. This post, however, will discuss statutory reform and New Jersey’s adoption of the MPC in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. Furthermore, this post will focus on the General Requirements of Culpability under New Jersey law. Read more

Mens Rea: What is it and why does it matter?

Criminal Intent

mens rea, criminal intent, specific intent, general intent, malum prohibitum, malum in seI listened to the podcast below, featuring Robert Alt of the Buckeye Institute in Ohio, with great interest. Indeed, Alt focused on a topic that the academy discusses extensively, mens rea (or criminal intent).Alt addressed a specific problem of modern penal laws, which he refers to as malum prohibitum. In particular, Alt spoke about modern criminal laws defined without the element of criminal intent. Although strict liability regulations may appeal to lawmakers, they can yield absurd and devastating results. Alt illustrated the point Read more