by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A centuries-old legal principle requires that a person should have a “mens rea,” or guilty mind, to be charged with a crime. That still holds true for most crimes, but a growing number of mainly regulatory crimes ignore that principle. In these cases, filling out paperwork incorrectly or making another honest mistake could lead to criminal charges.
That’s why the John Locke Foundation and Texas Public Policy Foundation presented a March 13 forum on mens rea reform.