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Mistake Under the Model Penal Code: Mistake as to Defenses

This is an advanced lesson. It assumes the student has the ability to identify the state of mind required for each element of an offense and defense based on MPC default rules of construction and has an understanding of basic principles of mistake set out in § 2.04. Using scenarios involving abandonment in burglary, choice of evils and self-defense, the lesson demonstrates how ignorance or mistake as to an element of a defense is treated under the MPC. This lesson relies heavily on MPC Commentary to explain the rules and policy behind mistake as to defenses. It carries through the theme of punishing defendants at the level of their personal culpability.

Lesson Completion Time

30 minutes
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