Commonwealth v. Sherry
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1982.
Dressler, pp. 413-416
Facts: The defendants and the victim were at a party. The defendants were charged with rape and kidnapping. They were convicted of rape.
Issue: Should the jury have been instructed as to whether the defendants made a mistake of fact sufficient to excuse their offense?
Rule: The defense of mistake of fact requires such a mistake to be reasonable and in good faith.
Analysis: The court finds that the defendants’ requested jury instructions fail to mention the “good faith” and “reasonableness” requirements.
Conclusion: The conviction was upheld.