This Article investigates the limits of the willful ignorance
doctrine as employed in federal criminal law. This
foundational rule allows willfully ignorant defendants to be
treated as knowing wrongdoers. The willful ignorance
doctrine is of increasing importance at the moment in light
of the mens rea reform bills currently working their way
through Congress. This legislation seeks to establish some
form of knowledge as the default mens rea in federal law.
Thus, if some version of this law is passed, the willful
ignorance doctrine will provide a partial work-around.
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