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Mens Rea and Methamphetamine: High Time for a Modern Doctrine Acknowledging the Neuroscience of Addiction.

Abstract In American criminal law, actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea, "an act does not make one guilty, without a guilty mind." Both actus reus and mens rea are required to justify criminal liability. The Model Penal Code's (MPC) section on culpability has been especially influential on mens rea analysis. An issue of increasing importance in this realm arises when an offensive act is committed while the actor is under the influence of drugs. Several legal doctrines address the effect of intoxication on mental state, including the MPC, limiting or eliminating its relevance to the mens rea analysis. Yet these doctrines do not differentiate between intoxication and addiction. Neuroscience research reveals that drug addiction results in catastrophic damage to the brain resulting in cognitive and behavioral deficits. Methamphetamine addiction is of particular interest to criminal law because it causes extensive neural destruction and is associated with impulsive behavior, violent crime, and psychosis. Furthermore, research has revealed important distinctions between the effects of acute intoxication and addiction. These findings have implications for the broader doctrine of mens rea and, specifically, the intoxication doctrines. This Note argues for the adoption of an addiction doctrine that acknowledges the effect of addiction on mens rea that is distinct from doctrines of intoxication.
PMID
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Authors

Mayor MeshTerms

Neurosciences

Keywords
Journal Title fordham law review
Publication Year Start




PMID- 28379674
OWN - HSR
STAT- MEDLINE
DA  - 20170405
DCOM- 20170419
LR  - 20170419
IS  - 0015-704X (Print)
IS  - 0015-704X (Linking)
VI  - 85
IP  - 5
DP  - 2017 Apr
TI  - Mens Rea and Methamphetamine: High Time for a Modern Doctrine Acknowledging the
      Neuroscience of Addiction.
PG  - 2417-49
AB  - In American criminal law, actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea, "an act does
      not make one guilty, without a guilty mind." Both actus reus and mens rea are
      required to justify criminal liability. The Model Penal Code's (MPC) section on
      culpability has been especially influential on mens rea analysis. An issue of
      increasing importance in this realm arises when an offensive act is committed
      while the actor is under the influence of drugs. Several legal doctrines address 
      the effect of intoxication on mental state, including the MPC, limiting or
      eliminating its relevance to the mens rea analysis. Yet these doctrines do not
      differentiate between intoxication and addiction. Neuroscience research reveals
      that drug addiction results in catastrophic damage to the brain resulting in
      cognitive and behavioral deficits. Methamphetamine addiction is of particular
      interest to criminal law because it causes extensive neural destruction and is
      associated with impulsive behavior, violent crime, and psychosis. Furthermore,
      research has revealed important distinctions between the effects of acute
      intoxication and addiction. These findings have implications for the broader
      doctrine of mens rea and, specifically, the intoxication doctrines. This Note
      argues for the adoption of an addiction doctrine that acknowledges the effect of 
      addiction on mens rea that is distinct from doctrines of intoxication.
FAU - Cusick, Meredith
AU  - Cusick M
LA  - eng
PT  - Journal Article
PL  - United States
TA  - Fordham Law Rev
JT  - Fordham law review
JID - 9891707
RN  - 44RAL3456C (Methamphetamine)
SB  - T
MH  - Aggression/drug effects/psychology
MH  - Crime/legislation & jurisprudence/*psychology
MH  - Criminal Law/*legislation & jurisprudence
MH  - Humans
MH  - Liability, Legal
MH  - Methamphetamine/*adverse effects/toxicity
MH  - *Neurosciences
MH  - Neurotoxicity Syndromes
MH  - Substance-Related Disorders/*psychology
MH  - Supreme Court Decisions
MH  - United States
MH  - Violence/legislation & jurisprudence/*psychology
EDAT- 2017/04/06 06:00
MHDA- 2017/04/20 06:00
CRDT- 2017/04/06 06:00
PST - ppublish
SO  - Fordham Law Rev. 2017 Apr;85(5):2417-49.

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