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Law and Psychology

Reid G. Fontaine

Selected Works

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Adequate (Non)Provocation And Heat Of Passion As Excuse Not Justification, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Jd, Phd Dec 2008

Adequate (Non)Provocation And Heat Of Passion As Excuse Not Justification, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Jd, Phd

Reid G. Fontaine

For a number of reasons, including the complicated psychological nature of reactive homicide, the heat of passion defense has remained subject to various points of confusion. One persistent issue of disagreement has been whether the defense is a partial justification or excuse. In this Article, I highlight and categorize a series of varied American homicide cases in which the applicability of heat of passion was supported although adequate provocation (or significant provocation by the victim) was absent. The cases are organized to illustrate that even in circumstances in which there is no actual provocation, or the provocation is not sourced …