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Thread: Does passion grant unaccountability? (a brief ethical theory)

  1. #11
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hmm View Post
    So apparently, there is a legal defense that can be used in cases of murder called "Passion Provocation". There is another name for it too but I forgot what it is. It's basically where the murderer gets so pissed off at their lover (<this is the passion part) that they are considered to be in altered state of mind and therefore are not accountable for their actions at that moment. I believe there have been a few cases of this where the defendant was found not guilty because of this.

    The one case I remember was of a guy who was with a woman for a while. They weren't married but had a kid together. Then they broke up and she got together with a different man very quickly and got engaged to this new man but the Ex-lover did not find out about this new romance she had until a day or two before her wedding and by surprise. On her wedding day, when she and the bridesmaids were getting dressed, the Ex-lover busted into the house in a fit of jealousy and shot her dead in her wedding dress and I think shot a kid too. i know the bride died for sure. But he and his lawyers used the passion provocation defense.

    So do you think it's a legitimate defense?
    I understand the point of it to be focused on the likelihood this person poses a danger to society. It suggests an altered state of mind, not calculated forethought. I don't see how it removes accountability though, because such a person is highly likely to face future disappointments that could easily trigger passion again. Getting badly hurt is a basic element in living. Anyone can be wonderful when everything is going their way. You don't know who a person is until you see them face hurt and disappointment. The following is a quote I once saw that I rather liked.

    You are responsible for what you do regardless of how you feel.
    The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN

    If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY

  2. #12
    Senior Member Array ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    May 2007


    FYI, it's also called voluntary manslaughter or heat of the moment killing. I think it encourages impulsive behavior. Interestingly, it used to be the law that a man who catches his wife cheating could get a reduced charge/sentence for walking in on his wife cheating on him, but not the other way around.

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