Heat Of Passion And Manslaughter
As per legal terminology, manslaughter means killing a human being. It is considered by law as less culpable than murder. The level of criminal culpability is based on the state of mind. The law differentiates between these levels and decides whether it is murder or manslaughter.
Manslaughter is categorized in two: voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. We will learn a bit more about heat of passion and voluntary manslaughter.
Voluntary manslaughter describes certain cases where an individual has an intention to cause death or serious injury but due to certain circumstances or state of mind. In other words, when an individual is provoked to another person due to loss or control, for instance, witnessing an attack against his or her child, he may be in a state of mind to kill that person.
One of the most significant types of voluntary manslaughter is heat of passion manslaughter. Heat of passion is a legal phrase used to describe an intensely emotional state of mind induced by a type of provocation. Under certain circumstances, a person who has killed another in the heat of passion will reduce the charges of murder to manslaughter.
Heat of passion manslaughter can be defined as:
- The defendant must be provoked to a point of anger or rage, such that he or she loses self control.
- There should be such circumstances that a person would react in the same manner if faced with the same degree of provocation.
- The person should not “cool off” or regain control during the period between provocation and killing.
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