crime of passion

crime of passion
A crime committed in the heat of sudden passion.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

crime of passion
A crime committed while in the throes of passion, with no opportunity to reflect on what is happening and what the person is about to do. For example, a husband who discovers his wife in bed with a lover and who attacks and kills the lover in a blind rage has committed a crime of passion. Because the husband has been overcome with emotion, he lacks the specific intent to kill, which is necessary for a conviction of murder. If a jury believes that he acted in the heat of passion, they will convict him only of manslaughter, which does not require an intent to kill. (See also: manslaughter, specific intent)
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

crime of passion
   a defendant's excuse for committing a crime due to sudden anger or heartbreak, in order to eliminate the element of "premeditation." This usually arises in murder or attempted murder cases, when a spouse or sweetheart finds his/her "beloved" having sexual intercourse with another and shoots or stabs one or both of the coupled pair. To make this claim the defendant must have acted immediately upon the rise of passion, without the time for contemplation or allowing for "a cooling of the blood." It is sometimes called the "Law of Texas" since juries in that state are supposedly lenient to cuckolded lovers who wreak their own vengeance. The benefit of eliminating premeditation is to lessen the provable homicide to manslaughter with no death penalty and limited prison terms. An emotionally charged jury may even acquit the impassioned defendant.
   See also: manslaughter, murder

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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