Model Penal Code

The Model Penal Code (MPC) is a text designed to stimulate and assist U.S. state legislatures to update and standardize the penal law of the United States of America.wikipedia
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Herbert Wechsler

Herb Wechsler
The chief reporter on the project was Herbert Wechsler, and contributors included Sanford Kadish and numerous other noted criminal law scholars, prosecutors, and defense lawyers.
He is most widely known for his constitutional law scholarship and for the creation of the Model Penal Code.

Sanford Kadish

Sanford H. KadishS. H. Kadish
The chief reporter on the project was Herbert Wechsler, and contributors included Sanford Kadish and numerous other noted criminal law scholars, prosecutors, and defense lawyers.
He was well known for his scholarship in criminology and criminal law theory, and for being one of the drafters of the American Model Penal Code.

Criminal law of the United States

criminal lawUnited States criminal lawAmerican criminal law
Primary responsibility for criminal law lies with the individual states, which over the years led to great inconsistency among the various state penal codes.
The Model Penal Code ("MPC") was created by the American Law Institute ("ALI") in 1962.

American Law Institute

The American Law InstituteALIA.L.I.
The MPC was a project of the American Law Institute (ALI), and was published in 1962 after a ten-year drafting period.
The Model Penal Code (MPC) is another ALI statutory formulation that has been widely accepted throughout the United States.

Mens rea

intentmental statemental element
One of the major innovations of the MPC is its use of standardized mens rea terms (criminal mind, or in MPC terms, culpability) to determine levels of mental states, just as homicide is considered more severe if done intentionally rather than accidentally.
Since its publication in 1957, the formulation of mens rea set forth in the Model Penal Code has been highly influential throughout the US in clarifying the discussion of the different modes of culpability.

Attendant circumstance

mitigating circumstanceaggravating factorcircumstance

Strict liability (criminal)

strict liabilitycriminal liabilitystrict
These terms are (in descending order) "purposely", "knowingly," "recklessly", and "negligently", with a fifth state of "strict liability", which is highly disfavored.
The American Law Institute's Model Penal Code generally restricts strict liability to minor offenses ("violations").

Criminal law

criminalcriminal casepenal law
The Model Penal Code (MPC) is a text designed to stimulate and assist U.S. state legislatures to update and standardize the penal law of the United States of America.

United States

AmericanU.S.USA
The Model Penal Code (MPC) is a text designed to stimulate and assist U.S. state legislatures to update and standardize the penal law of the United States of America.

Intention (criminal law)

intentspecific intentcriminal intent
These terms are (in descending order) "purposely", "knowingly," "recklessly", and "negligently", with a fifth state of "strict liability", which is highly disfavored.

Recklessness (law)

recklessnessrecklessrecklessly
These terms are (in descending order) "purposely", "knowingly," "recklessly", and "negligently", with a fifth state of "strict liability", which is highly disfavored.

Criminal negligence

negligencecriminally negligentnegligently
These terms are (in descending order) "purposely", "knowingly," "recklessly", and "negligently", with a fifth state of "strict liability", which is highly disfavored.

Civil infraction

fine
If a law makes an actor absolutely liable for an offense, MPC sections 2.05 and 1.04 state that the actor can only be guilty of what the MPC calls violations (essentially meaning civil infractions), which only carry fines or other monetary penalties, and no jail time.

Nazi Germany

Third ReichGermanGermany
Legal scholars contrast the MPC's limits with laws passed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which allowed people to be punished for acts not specifically outlawed but similar to acts that were.

Soviet Union

SovietUSSRSoviets
Legal scholars contrast the MPC's limits with laws passed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which allowed people to be punished for acts not specifically outlawed but similar to acts that were.

Ex post facto law

ex post factoretroactiveretroactively
This is not the same as a retrospective effect of past acts which are protected by the rule against ex post facto laws.

Ignorantia juris non excusat

ignorance of the lawignorance of the law is no excuseignorance
Under the MPC, ignorance of criminal law is not considered a valid defense, unless the legislature intended on making the mistake of law a defense, the law is unknown to the actor and had not been published, or the actor is acting as a result of some official statement about the law.

Mistake of law

Under the MPC, ignorance of criminal law is not considered a valid defense, unless the legislature intended on making the mistake of law a defense, the law is unknown to the actor and had not been published, or the actor is acting as a result of some official statement about the law.

U.S. state

StatestatesU. S. state
Certain parts of the MPC contain multiple options, inviting states to choose one.

Chilling effect

chillingChilling effect (law)chilling effects
Advocates of the MPC stress that the law must be clearly defined to prevent arbitrary enforcement, or a chilling effect on a population that does not know what actions are punishable.

Jurisdiction

jurisdictionsjurisdictionallegal jurisdiction
The MPC is not law in any jurisdiction of the United States; however, it served and continues to serve as a basis for the replacement of existing criminal codes in over two-thirds of the states.

New Jersey

NJState of New JerseyJersey
Many states adopted portions of the MPC, but only states such as New Jersey, New York, and Oregon have enacted almost all of the provisions.

New York (state)

New YorkNew York StateNY
Many states adopted portions of the MPC, but only states such as New Jersey, New York, and Oregon have enacted almost all of the provisions.

Oregon

ORState of OregonOregon, USA
Many states adopted portions of the MPC, but only states such as New Jersey, New York, and Oregon have enacted almost all of the provisions.

Idaho

IDState of Idaho(ID)
Idaho adopted the model penal code in its entirety in 1971, but the legislature repealed this action two months after it came into effect in 1972.