Judicial Application of Strict Liability Local Ordinances

Guyora Binder & Brenner Fissell

The criminal code reform movement inspired by the Model Penal Code had, among other goals, the aim of eliminating strict liability offenses. The success of the movement resulted in the enactment of the Model Penal Code’s scheme of element analysis and default culpability terms in about half of American jurisdictions. Around the same time, though, a similar reform movement was occurring in local government law: the home rule movement, which advocated for greater political power for municipalities—including the power to criminalize conduct.

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