Tuesday, October 3, 2017
From a press release by the NACDL:
Yesterday, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), David Perdue (R-GA), and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced important legislation to address the erosion of the criminal intent, or mens rea, requirement in federal criminal law, the Mens Rea Reform Act of 2017. As explained in a news release issued by Sen. Hatch’s office, this bill "would set a default intent standard for all criminal laws and regulations that lack such a standard…. [and] would ensure that courts and creative prosecutors do not take the absence of a criminal intent standard to mean that the government can obtain a conviction without any proof of a guilty mind." Sen. Hatch also delivered a speech about the important of mens rea reform yesterday on the floor of the U.S. Senate, citing support from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the Federal Defenders, and others.