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The Impact of Mens Rea on the Concept of Murder: A Comparative Study

Meshari Kh. Aleifan1 & Hussin Buoroki2

This research paper conducts a comprehensive comparative analysis of the influence of mens rea on the legal definition of murder in Kuwait and the United States criminal laws. The concept of mens rea, or guilty mind, plays a central role in determining the culpability of individuals in criminal law. The Kuwaiti legislature adopted legal provisions aligned with US law to make its criminal justice system more effective. US criminal law comprises the Model Penal Code (MPC), which includes general rules concerning crimes and punishment. Kuwaiti criminal law depends on two groups of statutes and the determination of mens rea, which
refers to the mental state as explained in the definition of offenses. In Kuwait, the
crime of murder is evaluated through the presence of specific elements, namely mens rea or intent to inflict serious bodily injuries, and the death that results from resisting arrest. There is a felony-murder rule under US law in which death occurs during the commission to commit specified felonies, but in Kuwaiti law, there is no recognition of the felony-murder rule. As the punishment for murder is severe, Kuwaiti law must follow several procedures to ensure that punishment is issued fairly.

Keywords: Murder, mens rea, felony-murder rule, US jurisprudence, Kuwait, model penal code