Groundbreaking legal research shows potentially serious failures in the Model Penal Code

Groundbreaking new legal research from a team of Vanderbilt University and other researchers suggests that juror confusion over how to apply the Model Penal Code in criminal trials could cause major, unnoticed and life-altering sentencing errors.

The research found that although people are reasonably good at identifying two distinctions among the mental states used to determine blameworthiness, they generally could not tell the difference between two other crucial mental states. And that could lead to sentences that are too lenient or too harsh.


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