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Voluntary Manslaughter Q&A

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Voluntary Manslaughter Q&A 1. Explain the difference between 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. The brick then bounces off the window and hits another man in the head, killing him instantly. ...read more.


The standard of proof is on the 'balance of probabilities', not on the reasonable man test. 4. S2(1) of the Homocide Act 1957 includes the phrase 'any inherent cause'. What does this mean? The term 'any inherent cause' means literally 'any cause from within'. 5. What is a "transient state of intoxication" and is it seen as a disease of the mind? 'A Transient state of intoxication' refers to the temporary effects of an intoxicating substance such as drugs or alcohol. It can only be seen as a disease of the mind if alcoholism or constant drug use has actually caused damage to the brain, the defence must prove this. ...read more.


The only sentence available for a murder trial is life imprisonment, so, if found guilty, the only possible sentence a defendant will receive is life. Whereas in a manslaughter trial, there are a range of sentences available, making it less likely that the defendant will receive life imprisonment. 8. If you were given the task of rewording S2 of the Homocide Act 1957, how would you define 'disease of the mind'. I would define it as - "such a mental abnormality that reduces the persons ability to make conscious and reasonable decisions" The term 'mental abnormality' would include: * Mental Illness * Arrested or Incomplete development of the mind * Psychopathic disorders * Any disorder or disability of the mind (except intoxication). ...read more.

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