Characterizations of Strict Liability:

(1) Joshua Dressler, Understanding Criminal Law 11.01, at 125 (2d ed. 1995): "STRICT LIABILITY offenses are those that "do not contain a mens rea requirement regarding one or more elements";

(2) George P. Fletcher, Rethinking Criminal Law 9.3.2, at 716 (1978): "STRICT LIABILITY means "liability imposed for an act or omission ... without considering at trial whether the defendant may exculpate himself by proving a mistake or accident bearing on the wrongfulness of his violation";

(3) Hyman Gross, A Theory of Criminal Justice 343 (1979): "STRICT LIABILITY characterizes offenses that are usually, though incorrectly, said to entail liability without culpability.";

(4) Norman Abrams, Criminal Liability of Corporate Officers and Directors for Strict Liability Offenses - A Comment on Dotterweich and Park, 28 UCLA L. Rev 463, 463 n.3 (1981): "STRICT LIABILITY is "liability without culpability");

(5) James B. Brady, Strict Liability Offenses: A Justification, 8 Crim. L. Bull. 217, 217-18 (1972): "STRICT LIABILITY is not susceptible to definition, but is best illustrated by example);

(6) Douglas N. Husak, Varieties of Strict Liability, 8 Can. J.L. & Juris. 189, 190, 193 (1995): "STRICT LIABILITY encompasses at least seven different types of liability that share the central feature of allowing conviction even when the defendant is "substantially less at fault than the paradigm perpetrator of that offense";

(7) Phillip E. Johnson, Strict Liability: The Prevalent View, in 4 Encyclopedia of Crime & Justice 1518, 1518 (Sanford H. Kadish ed., 1983): "STRICT LIABILITY [exists] if there is no requirement of knowledge, negligence, or any other type of culpability ....";

(8) Sanford H. Kadish, Excusing Crime, 75 Cal. L. Rev. 257, 267 (1987) "STRICT LIABILITY imposes guilt without regard to whether the defendant knew or could reasonably have known some relevant feature of the situation.";

(9) Alan Saltzman, Strict Criminal Liability and the United States Constitution: Substantive Criminal Law Due Process, 24 Wayne L. Rev. 1571, 1575 (1978): "STRICT LIABILITY "means criminal liability for the commission of an offense without regard to whether the defendant was culpable with respect to one of the elements of the offense";

(10) Richard G. Singer, The Resurgence of Mens Rea: III - The Rise and Fall of Strict Criminal Liability, 30 B.C. L. Rev. 337, 364 n.114 (1989): "In STRICT LIABILITY, the mental state of any actor is irrelevant);

(11) Richard A. Wasserstrom, Strict Liability in the Criminal Law, 12 Stan. L. Rev. 731, 732-33 (1960): "Defining STRICT LIABILITY by example and "tentatively describing" it as present in cases "in which the sole question put to the jury is whether the jury believes the defendant to have committed the act proscribed by the statute".

Prepared: February 4, 2003 - 5:02:29 PM
Edited and Updated, February 5, 2003

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