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Mens Rea

mens rea n

pl: men·tes re·ae [men-tēz-rē-ē, men-tās-rā-ī]
[New Latin, literally, guilty mind]
: a culpable mental state
: one involving intent or knowledge and forming an element of a criminal offense [murder contains a mens rea element] compare actus reus

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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