This chapter begins Lambert v. California, a 1957 U.S. Supreme Court case involving a woman charged with a crime she didn’t realize she was committing. Lambert violated a Los Angles ordinance making it a crime for convicted felons to remain in the city for more than five days without registering with the police, but she was unaware of her duty to register. It describes in more detail what the actus reus and mens rea requirements entail when applied to a defendant who didn’t realize she was committing a crime. As a preface to that effort it discusses and criticizes the maxim that ignorance of the law is no excuse. It then introduces a test, in relation to actus reus, for determining if a defendant who didn’t realize she was committing a crime could have realized she was (the Lex test) and then compares the actus reus requirement to the existing defense of insanity. It thereafter turns to a discussion of the mens rea requirement as applied to ignorant defendants, analyzing some hard cases, and then concludes with a discussion of tracing.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.