Chapter

Criminal Law Basics and the Willful Ignorance Doctrine

Alexander Sarch

in Criminally Ignorant

Published in print July 2019 | ISBN: 9780190056575
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190056605 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190056575.003.0002
Criminal Law Basics and the Willful Ignorance Doctrine

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Chapter 1 sets the stage. The author’s starting point is the willful ignorance doctrine, since it is the source from which the author will eventually extract his general theory of equal culpability mental state imputation. After explaining core criminal law concepts (particularly the mens rea concepts), the author introduces the willful ignorance doctrine, its history, and the normative claim it is premised on—namely, the equal culpability thesis. Situating this doctrine in the broader criminal law context reveals the questions to be tackled in the book, and the chapter ends by indicating the sorts of answers the author will go on to develop.

Keywords: mens rea; knowledge; recklessness; willful ignorance definition; doctrinal history; inculpatory proposition; equal culpability thesis

Chapter.  9944 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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