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Criminal and civil litigation; Mental Health Law - Coursework Example

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This research paper explores the concept of Mens Rea in criminal law, as well as, what it represents in reality especially in respect to what it reflects in a Defendant’s culpability. The legal personalities explain Mens Rea as the mental state of a defendant. As such, it…
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Criminal and civil litigation; Mental Health Law
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Download file to see previous pages In every criminal situation, the Mens Rea concept has to be present, which in simply terms is the Latin word for “a guilty mind.”
Consequently, the concept of Mens Rea carries out an in-depth analysis of the mind of the defendant in the moment preceding the crime. This goes to explore the thoughts and intentions of the defendant during the committing of a crime as this plays a great role in determining the culpability of a defendant. As such, the concept of Mens Rea enables the criminal justice system to differentiate between an individual who did not plan or mean to commit a crime, and an individual who planned and set out intentionally to commit a given crime. This concept rules out crimes that were intentional from crimes that were accidental, even if the results of the crime were the same1. For example, in the event of a murder case, the attorneys of law can evaluate the case to determine whether it was pure murder case or manslaughter. The difference in these two legal terms is that the former was an intentional crime whereby the defendant plotted to kill the victim and actually executed his or her plan.
On the other hand, the latter is an accidental crime whereby the defendant accidentally killed the victim without prior intentions to end their victim’s life, such as a case of self-defense, a stray bullet, or a riot stampede. The charges for both cases also differs depending on the legal position established by the judge, as well as, the prosecution team on the guilty mind of the defendant in the moments preceding the commitment of a given crime. For instance, the above case has the same charge, which is death of an individual, whether committed intentionally or otherwise. As such, the guilty party has to face the charges of the crime committed, and the extent of the punishment vented against him or her for the crime depends on their guilty conscience ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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