Although the concept of mens rea is generally accepted, problems arise in its application in some cases. Some crimes require a very high level of intent, while others require much less. Theft, for example, requires the defendant to intentionally take property that he knows is not entitled to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the property. On the other hand, negligent homicide presupposes that the defendant causes the death of another negligently. It is clear that Lord Steyn intended that a virtual or moral certainty test would necessarily lead to a determination of intent. But the wording of the guidelines regarding what the jury is not allowed to do will compromise the clarity of the direction. [Citation needed] He may have felt that the jury was entitled to indirectly infer the intention, but not to find it directly. It would have been better to express it as positive; i.e., “If the jury is certain that the accused anticipated death or serious bodily harm as a near certainty, this amounts to intentionality.” Nevertheless, it seems that “an outcome which is expected as practically certain is an expected outcome”, it is not clear whether Lord Steyn intended the above meaning. Parliament has demanded that the jury not be tasked with finding intentions and Lord Steyn cannot have intended to contradict Parliament`s wishes. If the jury is certain that the defendant considered that the level of damage required was virtually certain, this is evidence that the jury can take into consideration when considering whether the defendant personally intended that harm.
The political problem for those who run the criminal justice system is that when planning their actions, people may be aware of many likely and possible consequences. Thus, the decision to move forward with the current plan means that all foreseeable consequences are foreseen to some extent, that is, within the framework and not against the scope of each person`s intent. On a purely subjective basis, A intended to make B`s house uninhabitable, so a reasonably large fire was required. The reasonable person would have foreseen a probability that people would be at risk of injury. Everyone in the house, neighbors, passers-by and members of the fire department would be in danger. The court therefore assesses the degree of probability that B or another person may be in the house at that time of night. The safer the reasonable person would have been, the more justified it is to imply a sufficient desire to turn what would otherwise have been recklessness into the intent to depict the crime of murder. But if the degree of probability is lower, the court concludes only that it is proven reckless. Some states once had a criminal murder rule: a death that occurred while committing a crime automatically awarded enough mens rea for the murder.
This rule has been largely abolished, and direct proof of the required mental components is now required. Therefore, for each modified crime, courts in most states use a hybrid intent test that combines subjective and objective elements. In California, it is generally believed that the defendant intended to perform an act he committed. However, in the case of offences requiring a certain intention, that intention must be proved beyond any doubt. For example, in a conviction for attempted murder that requires proof of a particular intent to kill, a prosecutor cannot rely on the fact that the accused committed the act of murder to presume that the defendant acted with intent to kill. The accused, for example, may have acted in self-defence and thus denied the necessary intent, because the murder was committed out of protection and not out of a desire to take the lives of the victims. The problem then focused on the likelihood that the particular damage would result from what was being done. In R v Hancock & Shankland, Lord Scarman put it this way: judges generally do not define the intent of jurors, and the weight of authority is to give it its current meaning in everyday language, as requested by the House of Lords in r v Moloney, where references to a number of definitions of intent can be found using subjective and objective tests. and knowledge of the consequences of acts or omissions. Intent is usually defined in terms of foresight of certain consequences and the desire to act or not to act for those consequences to occur. It differs from carelessness because there is foresight on a subjective basis, but not the desire to draw the consequences.
But the eternal problem has always been the extent to which the court can imply a sufficient desire to turn recklessness into intent. The original rule was objective. DPP v Smith changed this by saying that the test was about getting a person to anticipate and want the natural and likely consequences of their actions. Parliament responded with section 8 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1967 to restore the position that originally existed at common law. In Frankland v. The Queen, Lord Ackner considered that the case of DPP v. Smith was wrong in that it required objective foresight in determining intent to kill, and stated that the common law reflected section 8 of the 1967 Act. For example, A, a jealous woman, discovers that her husband is having a sexual affair with B. Since she only wants to kick B out of the neighborhood, she goes to B`s house one night, pours gasoline and lights up the front door. B died in the resulting fire.
A is shocked and horrified. It didn`t occur to him that B could be physically in danger, and there was no conscious plan in his head to hurt B when the fire started. But if A`s behavior is analyzed, B`s death must be intentional. If A really wanted to avoid any possibility of injury to B, she wouldn`t have set it on fire. Or, if it wasn`t an option to verbally warn B to leave, she would have had to wait until B was seen to leave the house before lighting the fire. As it stood, she waited until the night when it was more likely that B would be at home and fewer people would be there to set off the alarm. While the intention would be less if A had set fire to the house during the day after ringing the doorbell to check if no one was at home, and then immediately called the fire department to report the fire. In 2006, the Law Commission issued its most recent recommendation on the importance of intent (murder, manslaughter and infanticide (Report No.
304 HC 30) in paragraph 3.27): In tort law, intent plays a key role in determining the civil liability of persons who commit harm. Intentional tort is any intentional violation or infringement of someone else`s property, property rights, human rights or personal freedoms that causes harm without cause or excuse. In tort, a person is deemed to have an intention to suffer the consequences of an act — whether or not he or she has the actual intention of those consequences — if he or she is essentially certain that those consequences will occur. If it is murder, and in the rare cases where the simple investigation is not sufficient, jurors should be informed that they do not have the right to find the necessary intent, unless they are sure that death or serious bodily harm was virtually certain because of the accused`s act (with the exception of unforeseen interventions) and that the defendant has acknowledged, that it was.. .