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What Is a Crime of Passion?

In the instance that an individual commits a crime out of extraordinary circumstances and in no manner is the crime pre-meditated or thought thoroughly, that individual is said to have committed a crime of passion. This can be an act or a legal defense used by the defendant in order to gain a less severe sentencing. When the latter is done, the defendant may plead temporary insanity.

A crime of passion usually occurs when an individual reacts violently towards a certain piece of information that has been recently revealed to him or her. He or she then acts out of impulse rather that having thought through the consequences of his or her actions. Such cases that claim crime of passion usually involve a spouse discovering his or her spouse’s infidelity.

However, some jurisdictions no longer allow this kind of legal defense to be used. It has been argued that an individual who has committed a grave crime cannot be excused from the consequences of his or her actions just because he or she had instinctively reacted violently. For the jurisdictions that continue to allow the use of this legal defense, it must be proven that little to no time elapsed between the revelation of information and the criminal act itself. This proves that the individual committed the crime impulsively. It is essential to prove that no planning was involved in the individual’s crime so as to prove that he or she was in a temporary state of insanity and acted without thought or regard.

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