Essay PreviewMore ↓
Voluntary manslaughter, as established by the Homicide Act 1957, is
determined by three sections: diminished responsibility, provocation,
and suicide pact.
Diminished responsibility is established by Section 2 of the Homicide
Act. It may be used as a defence to murder if the defendant can prove
an abnormality of the mind (if, for example, the defendant is an
alcoholic, or has a mental condition as in R v Byrne, where the
defendant had uncontrollable sexual desires.) The defence is that the
defendant does not have the necessary control over their actions, when
compared to a reasonable person.
Diminished responsibility has been criticised for a number of reasons:
· The very term 'Diminished responsibility' has been criticised by
authorities such as the Butler Committee, who say that it is 'not a
medical fact relating to the accused'. It was suggested by them that '
a person should not be convicted of murder if there is medical or
other evidence that they were suffering from a form of mental
disorder'. The criminal law committee agreed with this, but were not
happy with the wording, suggesting that instead it should be:
· 'The mental disorder was such as to be a substantial enough reason
to reduce the offence to manslaughter.'
· There is a danger for the accused when using it, because the
prosecution sometimes responds by arguing that the defendant is
· This defence can also be used for political reasons, as in so-called
'mercy killings', where often the prosecution will accept diminished
responsibility as a defence, to avoid public outcry.
· This has also occurred the other way around, in the 'Yorkshire
Ripper' case, R v Sutcliffe, as the defendant was refused the defence
and convicted of murder due to public opinion.
Provocation, as defined in s3 of the Homicide Act 1957, allows the
defendant to be convicted of manslaughter instead of murder if they
can prove that they were provoked by something said or done by the
victim, and that a reasonable person would have reacted in the same
How to Cite this Page
"The Law on Voluntary Manslaughter." 123HelpMe.com. 28 Feb 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Today, voluntary euthanasia is getting closer to being legalized in more than just one state in the United States. “‘Voluntary’ euthanasia means that the act of putting the person to death is the end result of the person’s own free will” (Bender 19). “ Voluntary euthanasia is an area worthy of our serious consideration, since it would allow patients who have exhausted all other reasonable options to choose death rather than continue suffering” (Bender 19). The question of whether or not voluntary euthanasia should be legalized is a major debate that has been around for years.... [tags: mercy killing physician assisted suicide]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- 1. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide a thorough analysis and conclusion on the case regarding SSgt James. First, I will put forth all essential unbiased facts on the case. Then, I will pronounce the issue at stake and the applicatory rules that are at risk of being violated followed by an analysis and firm conclusion. 2. SSgt James of the 101st Security Forces Squadron at Olson AFB, CO has been married for 8 years to his wife, Pam. A few days out from deploying to Kabulistan, SSgt James left base for lunch one day to visit Pam, who claimed to be sick that morning, at home.... [tags: Murder, Manslaughter, Criminal law, Homicide]
1335 words (3.8 pages)
- When watching the news or the latest episode of Law & Order or criminal minds, you have probably heard the terms of first-degree murder, felony murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter among many others. What are the differences between the types of homicides. For my paper I am going to talk about first-degree murder, felony murder, and manslaughter and they are labeled. The first type of homicide is "first degree murder." First-degree murder is premeditated and planned. Premeditated is the mens-rea of the crime, or the vital intent to commit the crime.... [tags: murder, manslaughter, felony]
796 words (2.3 pages)
- In order to uphold the ideal of protecting and preserving the rights and liberties of American citizens, our criminal justice system was created to bring justice to those whom a wrongdoing has been committed against. Justice is rooted in protecting those rights and determining a punishment that is fair and appropriate based on the circumstances of the crime. In the case of twin brothers Dale and Mike, a failed suicide pact resulted in Dale panicking and shooting his brother killing him instantly.... [tags: Criminal law, Crime, Prison, Manslaughter]
746 words (2.1 pages)
- What is Euthanasia. Euthanasia is derived from the Greeks where Eu means good and Thanatos means death. When these phrases are combined the word euthanasia is created; meaning “good death”. The act of deliberately ending a person’s life to relieve suffering, while leaving life in peace. Have you ever considered what you want when you are dying. If you were terminally ill or disabled with a reliance on life support to keep you alive, would you want a swift, painless, death or would you want pain and suffering.... [tags: active, passive, voluntary, involuntary]
1519 words (4.3 pages)
- The Effect of Morality and Justice on Law Over the years, the legal personnel of the English Legal System have tried to separate law from morality and justice. This has proven to be quite a hard task considering the fact that even the House of Lords judges allow their morals to influence their decisions on certain cases. I think it is difficult to separate morality from law because most of the laws in Britain are an example of enacted morality, such as the law on manslaughter and murder, which echoes the commandment "Thou shalt not kill." Separating justice from law is just as hard.... [tags: Papers]
845 words (2.4 pages)
- In the court of law, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet will be used as a transcript to determine the fate of Prince Hamlet as he is responsible for the death of Polonius. With the mask of insanity, Hamlet is conscious of his actions as he murders Polonius through his malicious intent upon King Claudius. Also, with Hamlet being in an intense state of emotion during his confrontation of Queen Gertrude, he intentionally murders Polonius upon adequate provocation which results to voluntary manslaughter. However, by pursuing King Claudius, Hamlet endangers himself and those close to him as he relentlessly involves others through his dangerous pursuit.... [tags: Shakespeare, Literary Analysis]
2481 words (7.1 pages)
- International Law Case Study A & B are two homosexuals who have lived together for a number of years. Also living with them is C, who, while aged 30 is mentally abnormal and has a mental age of 10. A and B have cared for C for 2 years since C’s remaining parent, an old friend of theirs, died. C cannot look after himself very well and occasionally goes through periods of deep depression. One day, A thinking that C might learn how to bake a cake, shows C how to mix ingredients and use the gas oven.... [tags: Papers]
1196 words (3.4 pages)
- Don’t you think that having the right to end your own life should be just as effective as having the right to bear arm or having Freedom of Speech and all the rest of our rights as citizens. Many people have come to believe that a ‘mercy’ killing is clarified as killing a person without his or hers request. Hearing the term euthanasia and mercy killing in the same sentence can make people think that assisted suicide isn’t morally right and should be banned. “Euthanasia comes from a Greek word, meaning good death.... [tags: Euthanasia, Death, Voluntary euthanasia]
1034 words (3 pages)
- Comparing Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter Voluntary manslaughter is when a defendant has muredered a victim, but can use one of the following defences to reduce his/her sentence to manslaughter (all of which are sections of the Homocide act 1957): * Diminished responsibility (S2) * Provocation (S3) * Suicide Pact (S4) Involuntary manslaughter is when a defendant does not intend to cause GBH or kill the victim, but does so. EG - a man throws a brick at a window, intending to break it.... [tags: Papers]
418 words (1.2 pages)
· This defence has been criticised as discriminating against women,
due to the phrase 'a sudden and temporary loss of control'. Helena
Kennedy, QC describes a woman's loss of self-control as quite
different to a mans'. A man is likely to react suddenly where as a
woman is more likely to have more self control over her actions but
react later to a series of events. This has been illustrated in the
cases of R v Thornton, and R v Ahluwalia, both cases of the now
recognised 'battered woman syndrome'. In these cases, women who had
been abused for years finally killed their husbands, but with a lapse
in the time between their victim's 'provocation', and the killing. In
the case of Ahluwalia, the defendant, was convicted after a failed
defence of provocation, and then released after a successful plea of
diminished responsibility, following the acceptance of 'battered woman
· However, the acceptance of this defence has caused concerns that it
will give women 'a licence to kill', using a defence of 'slow burn'.
This is not really a realistic criticism, as it ignores the fact that
the successful raising of this offence still leads to a manslaughter
conviction, with a possible custodial sentence, not an acquittal.
· It has been suggested that this development is not enough to even
the stakes between men and women, and that Britain should follow the
example of Australia, by allowing the defence of provocation to be
used regardless of the time lapse between the provocation and the
death of the victim.
· Women's campaigners have suggested that a defence of 'self
preservation' should replace that of provocation for both men and
women, to reduce liability to manslaughter. This would not be the same
as pleading self- defence, which would lead to an acquittal, but
rather a partial defence, which would allow society to mark its
disapproval of killing.
This dependence is very rarely used, but may arise if there is a
common agreement between two or more persons (including the Defendant)
that both or all of them should die. If in pursuance of this
agreement, and intending his own death, the Defendant kills one or
more others but fails to kill himself, the Defendant may be guilty of
manslaughter rather than murder.
· The main criticism when dealing with the Suicide Pact is deciding /
the burden of providing the existence of the pact and his own
intention to carry it out.