Thursday, January 28, 2016

How Michigan and Ohio Made It Harder to Accidentally Break the Law

Josh Siegel / / /

The Criminal Justice Committee was always an odd fit for Rep. Ed McBroom, a state lawmaker and dairy farmer representing a rural area of Michigan.  During his last term on the committee, McBroom, a Republican, was schooled on a criminal justice topic he had never heard of before, but on this one, few could blame him.  Rep. Rose Mary Robinson, a Democratic lawmaker and defense attorney from Detroit, would frequently want to know what the “mens rea” standards were for the state’s thousands of criminal laws and regulations.  “One day I said, ‘Rep. Robinson, I am not an attorney. I am a farmer. What on earth is mens rea?’” McBroom recalled.....

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