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Criminal Law and Procedure

Reid G. Fontaine

2008

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Wrongfulness Of Wrongly Interpreting Wrongfulness: Provocation Interpretational Bias And Heat Of Passion Homicide, Reid Griffith Fontaine Jan 2008

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

Reid G. Fontaine

In United States 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 thought and …


Social Information Processing, Subtypes Of Violence, And A Progressive Construction Of Culpability And Punishment In Juvenile Justice, Reid Griffith Fontaine Jan 2008

Social Information Processing, Subtypes Of Violence, And A Progressive Construction Of Culpability And Punishment In Juvenile Justice, Reid Griffith Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Consistent with core principles of liberal theories of punishment (including humane treatment of offenders, respecting offender rights, parsimony, penal proportionality, and rehabilitation), progressive frameworks have sought to expand doctrines of mitigation and excuse such that culpability and punishment may be reduced. With respect to juvenile justice, scholars have proposed that doctrinal mitigation be broadened, and that adolescents, due to aspects of developmental immaturity (such as decision making capacity), be punished less severely than adults who commit the same crimes. One model of adolescent antisocial behavior that may be useful to a progressive theory of punishment in juvenile justice distinguishes between …


Reactive Cognition, Reactive Emotion: Toward A More Psychologically-Informed Understanding Of Reactive Homicide, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2008

Reactive Cognition, Reactive Emotion: Toward A More Psychologically-Informed Understanding Of Reactive Homicide, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the alternative contributions of dysfunctional reactive cognition (e.g., provocation interpretational bias) and emotion (e.g., provoked fury) in heat of passion killings. Two main theses have been advanced. First, there exists a meaningful parallel between the instrumental/reactive aggression dichotomy in psychology and murder/manslaughter distinction in law. Second, analysis of this parallel suggests that the heat of passion (or provocation) defense disproportionately favors emotional over cognitive dysfunction in mitigating murder to manslaughter. These theses, though, have yet to be fully developed, and raise additional, critical questions that have not yet been addressed. For example, Other than …