Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a guilty mind, a conscious knowing by the perpetrator that the act s/he committed was illicit

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (law) criminal intent; the thoughts and intentions behind a wrongful act (including knowledge that the act is illegal); often at issue in murder trials

Etymologies

From Latin mēns rea (literally "guilty mind"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • JM followed the sign to the mens rea - now that was a mistake!!

    December 7, 2010

  • "In January 2002, White House lawyers began generating a series of memos outlining the administration’s motivation for torturing. They claimed that 'the war against terrorism is a new kind of war' requiring an enhanced 'ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists' and that 'this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners.' The legal term for such contemplation is mens rea, or 'guilty mind', and it is an important consideration in criminal trials."
    - Scott Horton, Justice after Bush: Prosecuting an outlaw administration. www.harpers.org, Dec 2008.

    February 7, 2009