Flashcards in Voluntary Manslaughter (Heat of Passion/Common Law) & Involuntary Manslaughter (Common Law/criminal negligence) Deck (12):
intentional killing in which defendant takes life in "sudden heat of passion," as result of "adequate provocation"
murder unless mitigating factor is present (killing as result of provocation)
provocation doctrine = partial justification for killing. Death of the provoker/victim is less of a social harm than killing an entirely innocent person.
Provocation Doctrine - Current minority view
partial excuse, concession to human frailty. Victim does not deserve to die, even partially, but culpability of defendant reduced.
Provocation Doctrine - Current majority view
Must be such that it might inflame passion of ordinary person and tend to cause ordinary person to act for moment from passion rather than reason.
aggravated assault or battery,
commission of serious crime against close relative of defendant,
observation by husband of wife in act of adultery,
resisting illegal arrest
Common law fixed categories (judge determined adequacy of provocation)
Common law fixed categories (judge determined adequacy of provocation):
Killing must have been in the heat of passion
Elements of Provocation Doctrine
-learning about adultery instead of observing it
-observation of unfaithfulness of girlfriend
- words, no matter how offensive
Not Considered Provocation (Common Law)
go beyond categories, issue now left to jury to decide whether provocation would render ordinary person likely to act rashly
consider defendant's characteristics in measuring gravity of provocation but not to measure level of self-control to be expected.
Modern Trend for Adequate Provocation Element
person who kills another person in criminally negligent manner is guilty of involuntary manslaughter
extreme recklessness (subjective standard -- realized the risk)