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Criminal Law and Procedure

Reid G. Fontaine

Law and Psychology

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

An Attack On Self-Defense, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2009

An Attack On Self-Defense, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Debate about the distinction between justification and excuse in criminal law theory has been lively during the last thirty years. Questions as to the nature and structure of various affirmative defenses continue to be raised, and the doctrine of self-defense has been at the center of much discussion. Three main articulations have been advanced: a purely objective theory, a purely subjective theory, and an objective/subjective hybrid. In the present Article, I support a hybrid model and propose a three-requirement framework that delineates the criteria that must be met to satisfy self-defense as a legitimate justification. Because this three-requirement framework raises …


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 …