Voluntary Manslaughter Research Paper

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Voluntary manslaughter is a homicide which would ordinarily be murder, but the charge is reduced due to the presence of some mitigating circumstance. The mitigating circumstances are: (1) Provocation. Provocation consists of 4 factors: (A) A reasonable person would have been provoked, (B) The defendant was actually provoked, (C) A reasonable person's emotions would not have subsided by the time of the killing, and (D) The defendant's emotions did not actually subside by the time of the killing. Note the purpose of B and D. If a normal person would have been provoked, but the defendant is an emotionless automaton, the mitigation will not be available. As for C, look for a time delay between the provoking incident and the killing. If the defendant caught his…show more content…
The defendant must reasonably believe that a killing is justified. For instance, defendant sees a bank being robbed by an armed gunman. He takes out his own gun, and shoots the gunman in the leg, and the gunman bleeds out and dies. We have intent to commit serious bodily harm, which will suffice for a Murder 2 charge, but also the justification of defense of others. Defendant is unaware that he is not witnessing a real bank robbery, but rather a training exercise for the bank's employees. He was mistaken in his justification. In the real world, you're going to hope for prosecutorial discretion, but on the bar exam you're looking at a voluntary manslaughter. The mistaken justification doctrine essentially says that if you use deadly force, the risk of using it improperly is on you. (3) Diminished Capacity. (This is the rule only in a minority of jurisdictions.) The defendant must have diminished capacity as a result of mental disease, but not rising to the level of insanity. On an essay question about insanity pleadings, you may want to discuss the possibility of diminished capacity mitigation if the insanity argument looks

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