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The Mens Rea of Purpose

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

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:
1. Define "purpose" according to the Model Penal Code.
2. Explain the notion of purpose as the actor's "conscious object" to engage in the prohibited conduct or to cause the prohibited result.
3. Analyze the difference between knowledge and purpose.
4. Explain the challenges of proving purpose.
5. Restate some of the rationales for imposing the most severe punishments on the purposeful actor.

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