Defences for Murder

Good Essays
Defences for Murder

There are only three partial defences for murder; suicide pact,

provocation-the loss of self control and reaction must be

instantaneous and diminished responsibility. Amongst the three

mentioned two are most frequently used, these are provocation and

diminished responsibility, and only one full defence, self defence.

These defences are used to reduce the sentence charge by the defendant

to manslaughter from murder.

In the following text I will be examining how men use provocation and

diminished responsibility to walk free from murder. I will analyse the

advantages and disadvantages of these defences and any alternatives or


Firstly, provocation is seen by men as an encouragement to attack

their partners. Many people say that men respond more violently to

infidelity and need a defence when their actions lead to the death of

their partners. Provocation also makes the victim seem like the

responsible agent. In the past men have killed their wives because

their partners are leaving them for another man (R.v.Humes) and have

claimed provocation or they have beaten their partners while

intoxicated (drugs, alcohol etc.) claiming diminished responsibility

(R.v.Tandy). In order to claim diminished responsibility the person

must have a substantial abnormality of mind caused by injury, disease

or just born with it. The mind may not be able to think straight thus

cannot make the decisions a reasonable person would. The person may

not know the quality of their actions and may not know that they are

doing wrong. In R.v.Tandy the defendant suffered from alcoholism and

she killed her 11 year old daughter and cla...

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...uld say that men

had the upper hand due to the success rate of the reduction of

sentences due to the claim of ‘provocation’. Any reasonable person

would say that women are less in strength than men and due to this

instantaneous reactions cannot take place on the other hand men can

easily over power women and end their partner’s life without any woe

or fear of being charged with murder as provocation is a pillow which

they can fall back on.

Many reforms have been made and are in the process of action. The

government are thinking is thinking of scrapping provocation as a

defence as it is an outdated defence. However they are planning to

only restricting it and allowing it on limited circumstances for

example they are planning for it to be scrapped in cases which involve

sexual discrimination as a provocative issue.
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