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Titles (2)

Short Titles

Short Titles - Senate

Short Titles as Introduced

Mens Rea Reform Act of 2015

Official Titles

Official Titles - Senate

Official Titles as Introduced

A bill to specify the state of mind required for conviction for criminal offenses that lack an expressly identified state of mind, and for other purposes.


Actions Overview (1)

Date Actions Overview
11/18/2015Introduced in Senate

All Actions (2)

Date All Actions
01/20/2016Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held.
11/18/2015Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Action By: Senate

Cosponsors (4)

* = Original cosponsor
CosponsorDate Cosponsored
Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT]* 11/18/2015
Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX]* 11/18/2015
Sen. Perdue, David [R-GA]* 11/18/2015
Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY]* 11/18/2015

Committees (1)

Committees, subcommittees and links to reports associated with this bill are listed here, as well as the nature and date of committee activity and Congressional report number.

Committee / Subcommittee Date Activity Reports
Senate Judiciary11/18/2015 Referred to
01/20/2016 Hearings by

No related bill information was received for S.2298.


Subjects (3)


Latest Summary (1)

There is one summary for S.2298. View summaries

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (11/18/2015)

Mens Rea Reform Act of 2015

This bill amends the federal criminal code to establish a default intent (state of mind) standard for a federal criminal offense, unless the provision of law that defines such offense specifically provides otherwise.

A federal criminal offense conviction under the default standard requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant acted intentionally and willfully with respect to each element of the offense. If a state of mind is not specified for an element of the offense, it must be shown that the defendant acted willfully. A person who acts "willfully" does so with the knowledge that the conduct is unlawful. The bill sets forth certain exceptions where the default standard shall not apply.

Additionally, the bill requires that when a provision of law identifies an intent standard but does not specify which elements of the offense the standard applies to, the identified standard must apply to all elements of the offense.