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 ?
It looks like it was a crime of passion," a police spokesman said.
However, a similar crime occurring in other societies might just as well be called a crime of passion, and would apply if the perpetrator was a woman who killed a philandering husband.
Rachel Hedworth, defending, told the court: "This is a classic crime of passion.
Liver pool Crown Court yesterday heard the incident was "comparable" to the French concept of Crime of Passion.
British-based writers, translators, and language scholars Burns and Ortiz-Carboneres offer a new English version, facing pages of the original Spanish, of poet and playwright (1898-1936) Lorca's famous play, the first in a trilogy of rural tragedies, and based on an actual crime of passion involving a marriage between a rich and a poor family.
The woman had not yet testified on the circumstances of the killing, but her lawyer Alec Reymond said it was a crime of passion, which is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
She befriends a schoolmate, Michelle, and a sickly older woman, Anouk (played by Fanny Ardant), who might be guilty of a terrible crime of passion.
Although we don't know for certain Zhong Guo's motive, this appears to be a crime of passion.
Or could Spaulding have committed a crime of passion, because Ana and the priest had an affair?
In some ways, Georges fit the stereotype of the outraged husband who commits a crime of passion against his faithless wife.
Del Toro didn't know Flores well, Grace added, so it is unlikely her death could have been a crime of passion.
When a Western man kills his lover or wife, it is called a crime of passion," says Mohammed Haj Yahya; an Arab sociologist at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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