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Reviews in Review
By Ellen S. Podgor
Reviews in Review columns.
Deborah W. Denno
Crime and Consciousness: Science and Involuntary Acts
87 Minnesota Law Review 369 (2002)
Scientific advancements have enormously changed the landscape of how
criminal law is approached. One place within criminal law that has not
incorporated the scientific changes is the area of consciousness.
Professor Deborah Denno presents a wonderful article that examines these
scientific advancements and also examines the deficiencies in existing
She begins with an overview of the Model Penal Code’s presentation
of the requirement of a voluntary act. She also discusses differing
state views in their approach to issues of consciousness. A detailed
appendix is provided that looks at the voluntary act requirement in
states on January 1, 1979 and then on January 1, 2001. Professor Denno
specifically notes the “problems with the
Model Penal Code’s voluntary act dichotomies.” She also discusses how
courts “have dealt with the automatism/uncons
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