Chapter Four turns to what we call ‘blameless crime’. Offences typically stipulate a state of mind that must have been present at the time of commission; examples include intention, knowledge and recklessness. It can be argued that these states provide some kind of moral hierarchy whereby the intentional harm-causer is seen to be more blameworthy than the risk taker or the incompetent. Some correlation can be found between the seriousness of the offence (and the likely severity of the punishment) and the state of mind prescribed. The most serious crimes, most notably murder, demand an intention to cause the specified harm whereas many comparatively minor offences require no fault on the part of the offender. Blameless crimes therefore exist in considerable number, although it is also the case that the courts have interpreted many key concepts in a way which gives primacy to blame.
Policy Press 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.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.