Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (law) A criminal act, considered as separate from the intentions or state of mind of the perpetrator. [from 20th c.]
2011, Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Penguin 2012, page 610:
- A brute emotional reflex to the actus reus, the bad act (‘She killed her husband! Shame!’), could trigger an urge for retribution regardless of her intention.