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Mistake Under the Model Penal Code: Mistake as to Defenses

This is an advanced lesson that demonstrates how the Model Penal Code rules of construction treat mistakes with regard to elements of defenses.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss how ignorance or mistake as to an element of a defense is treated under the Model Penal Code.
  2. Analyze the MPC Commentary to explain the rules and policy behind mistake as to defenses.
  3. State the rule of self-defense under MPC § 3.04 and § 3.09.
  4. State the "choice of evils" defense under MPC § 3.02.
  5. Explain the MPC theme of punishing defendants at the level of their personal culpability.
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