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Who Cares What You Think? Criminal Culpability and the Irrelevance of Unmanifested Mental States

Sarch, Alexander (2017) Who Cares What You Think? Criminal Culpability and the Irrelevance of Unmanifested Mental States Law and Philosophy: an international journal for jurisprudence and legal philosophy. pp. 1-44.

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Abstract

Many criminal law doctrines treat mental states that are not manifested in conduct in the right way as irrelevant. A “basic premise of Anglo-American criminal law is that no crime can be committed by bad thoughts alone.”1 Nor do we enhance punishments merely because we know one was willing to offend in worse ways. If I want to kill my enemy but am bribed to only beat him up instead, I’m not guilty of murder simply because I was willing to go that far. As Ken Simons notes, “we are . . . properly[] reluctant to impose punishment on a person simply for [attitudes or characteristics] unless and until [they] are expressed in action.”2 Similar thinking lies behind the concurrence requirement between mens rea and actus reus: the former must be expressed in (i.e. cause) the latter in the right way for there to be a proper basis for guilt....

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Law
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Law
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Sarch, Alexandera.sarch@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : 20 April 2017
Identification Number : 10.1007/s10982-017-9301-9
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 09:27
Last Modified : 19 Jul 2017 13:51
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/813860

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