crime of passion

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crime of passion

n. a defendant's excuse for committing a crime due to sudden anger or heartbreak, in order to eliminate the element of "premeditation." This usually arises in murder or attempted murder cases, when a spouse or sweetheart finds his/her "beloved" having sexual intercourse with another and shoots or stabs one or both of the coupled pair. To make this claim the defendant must have acted immediately upon the rise of passion, without the time for contemplation or allowing for "a cooling of the blood." It is sometimes called the "Law of Texas" since juries in that state are supposedly lenient to cuckolded lovers who wreak their own vengeance. The benefit of eliminating premeditation is to lessen the provable homicide to manslaughter with no death penalty and limited prison terms. An emotionally charged jury may even acquit the impassioned defendant. (See: murder, manslaughter)

References in periodicals archive ?
The only escape route from this pressant, from its simultaneity, its loops and repetitions, would be violence: for the narrator to perpetrate a crime passionel against A .
A crime passionel was generally understood to be an act of violence between a man and a woman who were sexual or romantic partners, whether married or not--an act that today could be described as intimate violence.
However, Anne and Lau's plan does fit the scheme of a crime passionel but one that Anne only imagines and abandons with lightning speed, as a whim--and a deadly one at that.

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