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Kirill Kulikov
Kirill Kulikov

Guilty Minds ((HOT))



When someone commits a crime, what are the limits on a state's authority to define them as worthy of blame, and thus liable to punishment? This book answers that question, building on two ideas familiar to criminal lawyers: actus reus and mens rea, usually translated as "guilty act" and "guilty mind."In Guilty Acts, Guilty Minds, Stephen P. Garvey proposes an understanding of actus reus and mens rea as limits on the authority of a state, and in particular the authority of a democratic state, to ascribe guilt to those accused of crime. Garvey argues that actus reus and mens rea are necessary conditions for legitimate state punishment. Drawing on the work of political philosophers, moral philosophers, and criminal law theorists, Garvey provides clear explanations of how these concepts apply to a wide variety of cases. The book charges readers to consider practical examples and ask: whatever you believe regarding the justice of the rules, did the state act within the scope of its legitimate authority when it enacted those rules into law? Based on extensive research, this book presents a new theory in which the concepts of actus reus and mens rea mark the limits of state power rather than simply describe the elements of a crime. Making the compelling distinction between legitimacy and justice, Guilty Acts, Guilty Minds provides an important perspective on the limits of state authority.




Guilty Minds



"Our much-maligned institutions of criminal law have gained a powerful new ally. Against its many critics, Stephen Garvey ably defends the limited authority of the state to punish persons who commit guilty acts with a guilty mind. Drawing from his impressive command of the leading cases in U.S. criminal law, Garvey helps non-specialists understand the complexities of doctrines governing insanity, ignorance of law, addiction, social deprivation, and a host of additional topics."-Douglas Husak, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Law, Rutgers University


A central tenet of Anglo-American penal law is that in order for an actor to be found criminally liable, a proscribed act must be accompanied by a guilty mind. While it is easy to understand the importance of this principle in theory, in practice it requires jurors and judges to decide what a person was thinking months or years earlier at the time of the alleged offense, either about the results of his conduct or about some elemental fact (such as whether the briefcase he is carrying contains drugs). Despite the central importance of this task in the administration of criminal justice, there has been very little research investigating how people go about making these decisions, and how these decisions relate to their intuitions about culpability. Understanding the cognitive mechanisms that govern this task is important for the law, not only to explore the possibility of systemic biases and errors in attributions of culpability but also to probe the intuitions that underlie them.


Guilty Minds is a good show but one that could have been a lot better. It has its heart in the right place but doesn't really know how to navigate two worlds. It paints a compelling picture of the lives of lawyers, something shows like The Practice have done beautifully in the West. But unlike The Practice, it does not know how to bring out the non-lawyer human side of its characters to the fore. And therein lies my objection (pun intended). Given the promise it has shown, there is likely to be a second season. Well, let's just hope that if there is one, this time, the minds behind it leave no grounds for any reasonable doubt about the show's quality.


The concept of mens rea developed in England during the latter part of the common-law era (about the year 1600) when judges began to hold that an act alone could not create criminal liability unless it was accompanied by a guilty state of mind. The degree of mens rea required for a particular common-law crime varied. Murder, for example, required a malicious state of mind, whereas Larceny required a felonious state of mind.


Sometimes a statute creates criminal liability for the commission or omission of a particular act without designating a mens rea. These are called Strict Liability statutes. If such a statute is construed to purposely omit criminal intent, a person who commits the crime may be guilty even though he or she had no knowledge that his or her act was criminal and had no thought of committing a crime. All that is required under such statutes is that the act itself is voluntary, since involuntary acts are not criminal.


Well directed, good cases with a twist. But highly prejudicial against South Indians. All South Indian characters have been stereotyped into a caricature . And North Indians have been shown as proper and modern. After knowng that the director‘s brother is Prashant Bhushan, one can understand the prejudiced mindset . I guess it has to show up somewhere. 


If a statute specifies a mental state or a particular offense, courts will usually apply the requisite mental state to each element of the crime. Moreover, even if a statute refrains from mentioning a mental state, courts will usually require that the government still prove that the defendant possessed a guilty state of mind during the commission of the crime. For example, the Supreme Court of the United States instructed that federal criminal statutes without a requisite mental state should be read to include 'only that mens rea which is necessary to separate "wrongful from innocent conduct.'"


Some have expanded the MPC classification to include a fifth state of mind: "strict liability." Strict liability crimes do not require a guilty state of mind. The mere fact that a defendant committed the crime is sufficient to satisfy any inquiry into the defendant's mental state. This lack of a guilty mind would act as the fifth, and least blameworthy, of the possible mental states. For a strict liability crime, it is sufficient for the prosecution to prove that the defendant committed the wrongful act, regardless of the defendant's mental state. Therefore, a guilty state of mind is irrelevant to a strict liability offense. Examples of strict liability offenses in criminal law often include possession and statutory rape. Many commentators criticize convicting defendants under strict liability because of the lack of mens rea.


Given the understanding, deeply embedded in our legal history, that a crime consists of an illegal act coupled with a guilty mind, one may fairly ask whether strict liability crimes are unconstitutional. The short answer at present is no, yet legal scholars continue to debate the question. The courts, too, find strict criminal liability troubling. Once again, Justice Jackson in Morissette:


It is shocking how such clinics find gaps in the legal procedures and uses it for sex determination in a country which already has skewered male-female sex ratio (948 females per 1000 males). But what is even more surprising is that couples, families and even women are ready to choose boys over girls. When will this mindset change?


Brooke Mulligan, 21, pleaded guilty in August to criminally negligent homicide in the death of 20-year-old Terry Carlson, Jr. At her Tuesday sentencing, the court suggested that her actions at the time of the incident were, at best, approaching the more serious charge of manslaughter, and at worst were inhumane.


The slender Shriya Pilgaonkar (Mirzapur) and the average good-looking guy Varun Mitra (Jalebi, Tejas) play the young and ambitious lawyers, who embark on similar journeys but along different paths. Both have studied together in law college. But now, while one (she) is the epitome of virtue, the other (he) is associated with a leading law firm, dealing with all shades of grey, believing that no client is guilty until proven so.


Having said that, the powerful performances and perceptive dialogues ensure that by the time the ten-episode series starts falling into a pattern, we start advocating the cause of the guilty and not-so-guilty minds. 041b061a72


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