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money

White-Collar Crime: Keeping Cases Out of the Courtroom

A white-collar defense attorney explains how “pro-active” engagement with prosecutors has helped his clients avoid going to trial or at least present evidence that could change a case’s outcome. He calls it “trying a case in a prosecutor’s office.”

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brain

What Were You Thinking? How Jurors Read Your Guilty Mind

A series of thought experiments by a team of law and neuroscience experts explore whether a defendant’s claim that he was unaware of committing an offense makes any difference to jurors. What they found, to be published in a forthcoming article for the Vanderbilt Law Review, isn’t good news for the accused.

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Bill Kelly

Rethinking Criminal Intent: Why ‘Mens Rea’ Matters

In order for the government to legally prosecute, convict and punish someone, in most cases it must prove that the person committed the criminal act (known as actus reus) and that he or she committed that act with criminal intention (mens rea). There are a variety of terms used to describe mens rea, including moral blameworthiness, a guilty mind, an evil mind, conscious will, or willful action. Mens rea is a foundational element of American jurisprudence. The U.S. Supreme Court […]

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'We Agree on the Bigger Issue'

The Charles Koch Institute is led by one of the richest men in the nation. Perhaps that's why its criminal justice reform summit in New Orleans this week defied conventions for gatherings of its kind. The three-day conference, called “Advancing Justice: An Agenda for Human Dignity & Public Safety,” was billed by one of its organizers as “transideological.” The two governors who spoke at the conference – Democrat Jack Markell from Delaware and Republican Asa Hutchinson from Arkansas – did […]