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Reid G. Fontaine

Murder

Institution
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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Wrongfulness Of Wrongly Interpreting Wrongfulness: Provocation Interpretational Bias And Heat Of Passion Homicide, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2009

The Wrongfulness Of Wrongly Interpreting Wrongfulness: Provocation Interpretational Bias And Heat Of Passion Homicide, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

In U.S. criminal law, a defendant charged with murder can invoke the heat of passion defense, an affirmative, partial-excuse defense so that he may be instead found guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter. This defense requires the defendant to demonstrate that he was significantly provoked and, as a direct result of the provocation, became extremely emotionally disturbed and committed the killing while in this uncontrolled emotional state. In this way, the law makes a partial allowance for emotional dysfunction—the wrongfulness of the homicide is mitigated when the emotionally charged reactivity restricts the actor’s capacity for rational ...


Disentangling The Psychology And Law Of Instrumental And Reactive Subtypes Of Aggression, Reid G. Fontaine Dec 2006

Disentangling The Psychology And Law Of Instrumental And Reactive Subtypes Of Aggression, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Behavioral scientists have distinguished an instrumental (or proactive) style of aggression from a style that is reactive (or hostile). Whereas instrumental aggression is cold-blooded, deliberate, and goal driven, reactive aggression is characterized by hot blood, impulsivity, and uncontrollable rage. Scholars have pointed to the distinction between murder (committed with malice aforethought) and manslaughter (enacted in the heat of passion in response to provocation) in criminal law as a reflection of the instrumental–reactive aggression dichotomy. Recently, B. J. Bushman and C. A. Anderson (2001) argued that the instrumental–reactive aggression distinction has outlived its usefulness in psychology and pointed to ...