Importance Of Culpability In Criminal Law

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In a typical court, determinations of criminal liability require a voluntary act and intent to commit a criminal act. Legal theory refers to this as Actus Rea and Mens Rea, and liability as the state of being responsible for something. The legal requirement rests on Mens Rea to determine culpability and the actor’s mental state. A general example of this in criminal law is how liability or no liability in a murder case rests on the actor causing the death intentionally. The goal of this paper is to survey the legal requirements of liability, present opposing arguments, and present theories to enhance the accuracy of legal proceedings when determining fault and liability in legal. Did the actor cause harm? When is one act considered the cause of another act? Legal philosophers focus on the connection between cause and effect, or causation, when determining the liability of an actor in a situation. Hume wrote in one of his definitions of causation that “… if the first object had not been, the second never had existed.” (Hume , "§ VII Part I-II") This is the focus of many arguments in court, where if the actor had not committed said act then the issue at hand would never had come into existence. …show more content…
One action may hold an offender criminally liable, civilly liable or both depending on the nature of the act. Typically, civil liability involves some type of compensation for injury or harm, such as damaging a car or body part. Criminal liability generally must involve punishing someone who is morally culpable, such as attempted murder, or in other cases of gross negligence drunk driving. Using the example of drunk driving, not only are you morally culpable regardless if you hit someone, and most likely would be charged with vehicular manslaughter, there is civil liability for any harm done to the

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