Table 2.

Model Penal Code Classifications and Examples

Mens Rea TermMPC Definition14Alternative Adjectives15State of MindExamples:
Intentionally or purposefullyA person acts purposefully [with respect to a result] if it is his conscious object . . . to cause such a resultDecides to, desires that, wants to, chooses toSubjectiveA shoots B because A wants to kill B to obtain an inheritance from B
KnowinglyA person acts knowingly if he is aware that it is practically certain that his conduct will cause such a resultAware that [the harm will occur], almost positive that, virtually certain, understands thatSubjectiveA shoots B in the head because A wants to injure B but does not intend that B die
RecklesslyA person acts recklessly when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that [will be the result of his conduct]Realizes it is very likely [the harm might occur] but decides to act anyway; is conscious of the likelihood [of the harm] but simply doesn’t careSubjective (Consciously) and Objective (Gross deviation standard of negligence)A shoots B while playing Russian roulette with a one in six chance of killing B
NegligentlyA person acts negligently when he should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that [will be the result of his conduct]Carelessly, overlooks, without even noticingObjective (Reasonable Person)A shoots into a forest that is normally uninhabited but happens to shoot B