Elements of a criminal offence<br />Actus Reus– “wrongful deed”<br />Mens Rea– “guilty mind”<br />
R. v. Parks (1992)<br />Kenneth Parks kills in-laws.<br />He then confesses, claims that he was not in control of his actions (heavy sleepwalker)<br />Defence claimed automatism (Parker was not in control of his actions, therefore mens rea was not present at the time of the offence.<br />
Intention<br />Intent: the state of the mind of a person who commits an action deliberately and on purpose.<br />
Intent or not?<br />Brie-Ann tries on a wicked<br />pair of shoes on at Foot<br />Locker. She is worried <br />that she’ll be late for her<br />Law class and walks out<br />of the store while wearing<br />the shoes, having yet to pay for them.<br />
Intent or not?<br />Mr. Wolf is having a<br />relaxing Friday night.<br />A friend wants to watch<br />“Monster vs. Aliens” and<br />yells, “CAN WE WATCH<br />THE MONSTER MOVIE!?!”<br />This triggers something in the<br />back of Mr. Wolf’s mind. He<br />gets angry and kills his friend.<br />
Criminal State of Mind<br />Mark steals something from a store. He rushes out of the store, bumping into and seriously injuring someone. Even though he didn’t intend to cause harm to that person, he can be charged with assault in that he had a criminal state of mind.<br />
Willful Blindness<br />Willful blindness– The act of deliberately choosing to ignore certain facts or information.<br />“Turning a blind eye”<br />
Willful Blindness<br />Example- Jamison is offered $100 to deliver a package to a known drug dealer. He does not ask what is in the package, instead turning a blind eye.<br />Jamison would be convicted of drug trafficking, as an average person would ask questions regarding the contents of the case.<br />
Recklessness<br />Recklessness– a state of acting carelessly without regard for the consequences of one’s actions.<br />
Recklessness<br />Example: A person who knows they have AIDS having unprotected sex without informing the other person of their medical condition.<br />This person could be charged with assault, attempted murder, or even murder.<br />
Recklessness<br />The careless disregard for the results of this action would be the mens rea.<br />The offence was committed with both knowledge and recklessness.<br />
Criminal Negligence<br />Criminal Negligence– Indulgent and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of other people.<br />
Criminal Negligence<br />While working at Dairy Queen, Aimee is behind on her Chemistry homework and decides to conduct an experiment while on shift in the kitchen. Half an hour later, a customer dies of food poisoning<br />Aimee would be charged with manslaughter.<br />
Did You Know?<br />If a husband sets fire as part of an insurance fraud scheme, and does not know that his wide was in the building, he would still be guilty of first-degree murder because he was committing an indictable offence at the time.<br />
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