Reading Comprehension Sheet #9: Marcia Baron, “Killing in the Heat of Passion”
1. The provocative defense attempts to justify or give an excuse to the heat of passing killing. The defense is entitled to someone who commits heat of passion murder in circumstances that are regarded as “adequate” provocation. The act of killing must be intentional, committed under the influence of passion, be a result of reasonable provocation, and done before a reasonable period of time before the person “cools off” and is himself/herself again. The subjective component asks whether the defendant was provoked and didn’t cool off before the committing the crime, the objective component is if whether a reasonable person would lose self-control when provoked to the point of killing.
2. If one is justified in doing x, the person did not act wrongly in doing x (doing x was not wrong). If one is justified in doing something, one did not act wrongly. However, if one is to make an excuse in doing x, the person is saying doing x was wrong but he/she isn’t…show more content… Excuses fall into two groups; the first excuse being the situation is too difficult to avoid doing the wrong or unlawful thing, the second is the peculiarity of the person makes it difficult for them to act according to law. Baron states that provocation fits with the first group of excuses, which provocation is like duress, because she views provocation more plausible as an excuse than justification. The excuses that fall under the first group do not require anything unusual about the person, only the situation. The provocation defense is both partly justification and partly excuse because the provocation defense is “available only if the provocation stemmed at least in part of the victim”. If the defense were an excuse, the source of the provocation does not matter. What matter though would be that the provocation was reasonable/adequate or the defendant was upset, but whether the victim provoked the defendant does not