I think it says this.
"I am a moral philosopher. Moral philosophers should run criminal law making. I believe intention is relevant to permissibility."
If I got that backwards, tell me. The article is a long ipse dixit. It provides no external validation.
It has to address these objections.
1) Minds cannot be read with current technology. Most of the criminals are drunk or impulsive, and have little intent. Recklessness is weasel slinking away from intent.
2) Criminal Law is to remedy physical harm, not thoughts. The parameters of coverage of the criminal law contradict the argument that intention is relevant to permissibility.
3) Of the five goals of the criminal law, only safety is worth anything to the owner, the public. So, if haystacks should not be burned, criminalize open flames within a five feet radius by anyone. There is no intent in that law. The intent to impress her boyfriend by aiding the enemy still deserves hanging. I want to impress my girlfriend with my ninja skills by ripping out a man's heart with bare hands. It is a form of courtship, not an intent to harm.
4) If the wife is poisoned, the neighbor that bought the poison is no more guilty than the store owner that sold it. If the neighbor or store owner are guilty of anything, it is failure to report a plan to kill. There is no such duty under the misguided administration of the law by the American lawyer.
5) The mens rea is Latin, the language of a church. The mens rea came from a priest, Henry of Bratton. He learned it from 13th century Scholasticist philosophy, and studied with St. Thomas Aquinas. All Latin violates the Establishment Clause. The mens rea violates the Establishment Clause. Even the Church said, God would read intent in heaven. Not even the medieval church claimed man could read minds, as the lawyer claims. Henry just invented the mens rea. If you say, what's wrong with established moral principles, that a church just happens to embrace? OK. What is wrong with a Koran based, Arabic strewn jurisprudence? I read their hornbook, and liked most of it. By its Scholasticist origin, intent is unlawful in the criminal law.
6) Not only does the lawyer want a small elite who have never grown up to run the law, he wants a layer of complexity and supernatural garbage from 1250 AD that cannot be questioned because fictional. That layer will increase lawyer employment. Self-dealing without disclosure is bad faith. Put a bold black box warning, in big print, at the top of the article, "This article promotes the power of moral philosophers (me), and the rent seeking of the lawyer profession. Its content will maintain criminal victimization."
7) If the lawyer wants to get rid of punishment, no problem. It is also an obsolete relic, a form of social immaturity. Incapacitation, including large numbers of executions should replace it. As behavioral technology improves, the execution rates may decrease. Execution would solve the problem of the person, the biggest problem in crime. This means one would die for a having violent form of antisocial personality disorder, made a status crime, for the safety of others. Death is not a punishment. It is an expulsion. The lawyer may object, but mostly because it gets rid of the lawyer customer and decreases lawyer jobs. The Supreme Court would have to be emptied of lawyers to reenact status as a crime. For example, Scalia set loose a bigger number of vicious predators than Brennan. We are now undergoing the Scalia Bounce in the murder rate.
The biggest objection: Intent is church doctrine and unlawful in this secular nation. Repeal the Establishment Clause if intent is relevant to permissibility.
2 years ago