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Controlling Passion: Adultery and the Provocation Defense

Susan D. Rozelle

Stetson University College of Law

Rutgers Law Journal, Vol. 37, p. 197, 2005

Adulterous wives, especially those caught in the act, are classically provoking. Conventional wisdom explains that the ordinary, reasonable, otherwise law-abiding person cannot be expected to control himself when faced with an actively faithless spouse - or at least, control becomes so hard to maintain that a defendant who kills under those circumstances may be partially excused. But the conventional wisdom is wrong: most people can control themselves under such circumstances. Instead, provocation is properly grounded in justification, and should be permitted only to those defendants who were legally entitled to use some amount of force when they killed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: provocation, mitigation, manslaughter, justification, excuse, purposes of punishment

JEL Classification: K14

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Date posted: March 7, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Rozelle, Susan D., Controlling Passion: Adultery and the Provocation Defense. Rutgers Law Journal, Vol. 37, p. 197, 2005. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=887823

Contact Information

Susan D. Rozelle (Contact Author)
Stetson University College of Law ( email )
1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States

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