Mens Rea

‘Mens rea” is Latin for “guilty mind”. It is the state of mind legally required to convict an individual who is accused in a court of law. A defendant having this mental element had knowledge that his actions led to a crime. Hence, the establishment of mens rea is needed in proving the defendant guilty.

For instance, regarding a homicide case, it was proven that the defendant had the intention to kill the victim as evidenced by his purchase of the murder weapon a day before the crime. This was substantiated by the defendant’s taking a leave from work on the day of the murder and a neighbor’s claim that the defendant was seen outside the victim’s house for two consecutive nights before the crime.

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