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The Mens Rea of Knowledge

This lesson explores the mens rea of knowledge as defined by the Model Penal Code.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:
1. Define "mens rea of knowledge" according to the Model Penal Code.
2. Explain the theory of punishment for a requirement that an offender be knowing in her conduct before punishment will be imposed.
3. Distinguish knowing conduct from conduct that is merely reckless.
4. List the hierarchy of mens rea under the Model Penal Code.
5. Recognize the impact of attendant circumstances on an actor’s knowledge.
6. Analyze the proof of the element of knowledge with permissive inference that the defendant acted "knowingly."


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