The third annual installment of this conference is being hosted today by CodeX: The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. Of course, TR is a sponsor.
The National Archives posts what could be called an “historical document of the day” on its website. Today’s document is Form 1040 for 1913. It is not quite as Byzantine as a 1040 for 2012 but it is ugly enough. History teaches something even if that something isn’t a thing of beauty.
Case in Point: Florida v. Adkins. In 2012, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the state’s drug law, which does not require the prosecution to establish criminal intent, is constitutional. What other result could be expected when “possession” and drug offenses exist? Crimes not requiring an actual or intended harm to another person for their commission only require a certain criminal intent or mens rea as a fig leaf. The mens rea for those crimes is hollowed out completely by their very nature; there is no tangible harm required. It necessarily follows that states such as Florida will then attempt to eliminate a mens rea requirement altogether and make the crimes purely strict liability.