1) Per se. Mind reading is a supernatural power. The supernatural is religion. Half the major violent crimes are committed by folks legally drunk. The criminal himself cannot honestly judge intent, if the crime is recalled at all. I understand no recall is needed to infer intent from conduct. The word, infer, is a synonym for mind reading, and not a rebuttal with objective evidence.
2) Origination. A French monk applied the Scholasticist doctrine that God would know intent and judge it after death. Intent came from the elements of mortal sin and a church catechism. So what? So what if the law were based the Koran? In the 1200's that was an humanitarian advance, a loophole to escape the sole punishment of the 1200's, death.
3) Policy. Where is the evidence the hunter who shoots another thinking him a deer is less dangerous than the hunter who shoots another after a $10,000 payment from the other's wife? (In that scenario, the money is objective evidence of intent.) But there is no evidence mens rea contributes to safety. There should be strict liability, with a judgment of dangerousness by the executive branch based on the past. Future victims should be able to sue the probation department for deviations from assessment standards that result in victim injury. The probation department is just counting past behaviors from all sources, including childhood records, after conviction, and not functioning as God does. Intent has no scientific, validated meaning, such as a measurement scale, or brain imaging showing anything happens in real life. It does not exist. The reason? It is from the thinking of Medieval monks, not more recent scientists.
4) Indoctrination without consent. Modern students do not believe in the supernatural outside of their spiritual adherence. To get them to believe in the mens rea, they undego an indoctrination so good, no one knows it took place. But people who pass 1L believe minds can be read. The indoctrination violates the Establishment Clause. The use of mens rea by any judge does too, since it imposes a supernatural belief of a very specific church, with the force of government.
5) Latin. All Latin violates the Establishment Clause, being the foreign language of a church. We need a statute voiding all legal utterances containing Latin, and canceling any severability in the legal utterance.
2 years ago