Homicide
Voluntary Manslaughter (Heat of Passion)
Manslaughter (Extreme Emotional Disturbance)
Three homicide schemes
Pennsylvania

Common Law

First Degree Murder

Malice Murder

Intent (purpose) to kill + specified
...
State v. Girouard (Ct. App. Md. 1991)
What verdict would you return (assume a
Pennsylvania-like scheme with a Morrin defin...
Common-law heat of passion





There must have been adequate (reasonable)
provocation
The killing must have been whil...
Common-law heat of passion
The General Doctrine
Reasonable
provocation

Anger
(heat of passion)

Reasonable loss of
self-c...
Aaron hypothetical
Should Aaron guilty of murder or manslaughter?
A = Murder
B = Manslaughter
&%@#!!!

Innocent third part...
Why?




Partial justification — What D did was wrong but not as
wrong as it otherwise would have been but for V’s provo...
Theory and doctrine

Reasonable
provocation

Anger

Reasonable loss of
self-control

What would the doctrine look like if ...
Discussion

Should the doctrine be reformed?
A = No
B = Yes, as a partial justification only
C = Yes, as a partial excuse ...
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Class.18.posted

  1. 1. Homicide Voluntary Manslaughter (Heat of Passion) Manslaughter (Extreme Emotional Disturbance)
  2. 2. Three homicide schemes Pennsylvania Common Law First Degree Murder Malice Murder Intent (purpose) to kill + specified manner of killing Intent (purpose) to kill + willful, deliberate, premeditated Felony murder with enumerated felony Intent (purpose or knowledge) to kill Murder § 210.2(1)(a) Intent (purpose or knowledge) to inflict GBH Depraved heart Second Degree Murder Model Penal Code Felony murder Manslaughter Manslaughter Voluntary (heat of passion) Voluntary (heat of passion) Involuntary (negligence) Involuntary (negligence) Murder § 210.2(1)(b) Manslaughter Manslaughter (extreme emotional § 210.3(1)(a) &(b) § disturbance) 210.3(1)(b) Negligent Homicide § 210.4
  3. 3. State v. Girouard (Ct. App. Md. 1991) What verdict would you return (assume a Pennsylvania-like scheme with a Morrin definition of deliberation and premeditation)? A = First-degree murder B = Second-degree murder Judge Harry Cole C = Voluntary manslaughter D = Not guilty
  4. 4. Common-law heat of passion     There must have been adequate (reasonable) provocation The killing must have been while in the heat of passion It must have been a sudden heat of passion – no reasonable opportunity to cool off There must have been a causal connection between the provocation, the passion, and the fatal act
  5. 5. Common-law heat of passion The General Doctrine Reasonable provocation Anger (heat of passion) Reasonable loss of self-control Objective Subjective Objective Reasonable Provocation  Provocation is reasonable (or adequate) if (based on D’s reasonable belief) it is:       Extreme assault or battery Mutual combat [Illegal arrest] Serious injury of a close relative [Sudden discovery of a spouse’s adultery] Modern variation ─ Jury decides if provocation was “reasonable,” provided the judge does not declare it “unreasonable” as a matter of law Death Reasonable Loss of Self-Control  If the provocation is reasonable, then D’ loss of self-control is reasonable, unless D had a reasonable opportunity to “cool down”
  6. 6. Aaron hypothetical Should Aaron guilty of murder or manslaughter? A = Murder B = Manslaughter &%@#!!! Innocent third party
  7. 7. Why?   Partial justification — What D did was wrong but not as wrong as it otherwise would have been but for V’s provocation  Disproportionate response – V’s provocation warranted some response, but D’s response (i.e., killing V) was disproportionate to the provocation  Worthy motive – D’s reason or motive for killing does not justify the killing, but his or her motive nonetheless renders the killing less wrongful Partial excuse — D was responsible for what he or she did but not as responsible as he or she otherwise would have been but for V’s provocation  Partial incapacity – D’s capacity to control his or her desire to kill was partially undermined
  8. 8. Theory and doctrine Reasonable provocation Anger Reasonable loss of self-control What would the doctrine look like if provocation was What would the doctrine look like if provocation was a partial excuse? justification? Death
  9. 9. Discussion Should the doctrine be reformed? A = No B = Yes, as a partial justification only C = Yes, as a partial excuse only D = Yes, as two separate defenses E = Yes, abolish!

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