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S. 2298 (114th): Mens Rea Reform Act of 2015

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About the bill

The U.S. Code contains almost 5,000 federal crimes, impossible for any reasonable person to memorize. So what happens if somebody accidentally breaks a law that they didn’t even realize was a law? Two bills, if passed, would clarify that criminal intent is required to prosecute people for most federal crimes. Though it may sound simple, some opponents believe the bill’s sponsors may have a more sinister ulterior motive.

What is mens rea?

Mens rea is a Latin phrase meaning “guilty mind.” It is one of several mental states the law recognizes, including recklessness or criminal negligence. For some crimes, no intent is needed in order to prosecute -- for example, a drunk driver can still be prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter, even though the driver didn’t “intend” to kill anybody. But …

Sponsor and status

Orrin Hatch

Sponsor. Senator for Utah. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Nov 18, 2015
Length: 7 pages
Introduced
Nov 18, 2015
114th Congress (2015–2017)
Status
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on November 18, 2015, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).

Cosponsors

4 Cosponsors (4 Republicans)

Source

History

Nov 18, 2015
 
Introduced

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

S. 2298 (114th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 2298. This is the one from the 114th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 114th Congress, which met from Jan 6, 2015 to Jan 3, 2017. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

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“S. 2298 — 114th Congress: Mens Rea Reform Act of 2015.” www.GovTrack.us. 2015. October 28, 2021 <https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2298>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from Congress.gov, the official portal of the United States Congress. Congress.gov is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.