Chapter

Motive and Criminal Liability*

Douglas Husak

in The Philosophy of Criminal Law

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585038
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723476 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585038.003.0003
 							Motive and Criminal Liability*

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Contrary to conventional wisdom, this chapter argues that the motive of the defendant is and ought to be relevant to his criminal liability. It attempts to show that motives are important to liability according to any philosophically plausible conception of the nature of motives. It discusses several respects in which motives are relevant to the substantive criminal law and traces some normative implications of the author's thesis.

Keywords: motives; intentions; mens rea; omissions; mercy-killings; justification; liability; punishment

Chapter.  8591 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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