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55 Washburn L.J. 39 (2015-2016)
Not So Simple: How Simple Assault and Battery Became Distorted in the Context of Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

handle is hein.journals/wasbur55 and id is 47 raw text is: 

Not So Simple

How Simple Assault and Battery Became
Distorted in the Context of Crimes Involving
Moral Turpitude

Melissa L. Castillo*

                           I. INTRODUCTION
     It is well established in immigration law that a simple assault or
battery does not involve moral turpitude. But there are currently two
conflicting interpretations of the meaning of simple in this context.
Both interpretations appear in decisions of the Board of Immigration
Appeals (the Board), each without disavowing the other. This Article
describes the two interpretations and argues that the original, historical
interpretation of simple yields the correct conclusion as to whether an
assault or battery is a crime involving moral turpitude, whereas the
newer interpretation may not.
     A thorough review of the case law demonstrates that, historically, a
simple assault and battery denoted a crime lacking a specified mens rea,
or state of mind required to secure a conviction.1 Yet, over the years,
the word simple took on another meaning in the context of crimes
involving moral turpitude.     In  some newer cases, the Board has
described simple assault or battery as a non-serious assault or
battery-in other words, an assault or battery without an aggravating
factor. This Article shows how the Board misconstrued the meaning of
simple in the moral turpitude context. Contrary to the Board's
reasoning in those cases, an aggravating factor is not what takes an
assault or battery out of the simple category. Rather, it is scienter

     * Ms. Castillo is currently an Assistant Chief Counsel with the Department of Homeland
Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and an Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at
Washburn University School of Law. She received a J.D. in 2006 from Washburn University School
of Law, a B.S. in Business, and a B.A. in Spanish from Kansas State University in 2001. She is a
former Attorney Advisor for the Executive Office for Immigration Review and former private
practitioner in the area of immigration law. The opinions expressed in this Article are the author's
personal opinions and not those of the Department of Homeland Security.
    1. Mens rea is [tihe state of mind that the prosecution, to secure a conviction, must prove that
a defendant had when committing a crime; criminal intent or recklessness. Mens Rea, BLACK'S
LAW DICTIONARY (7th ed. 1999).

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