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Jeremy Vine thing about murder and provocation

(5 Posts)
beanieb Wed 23-Jul-08 13:28:15

Can't find a link to this story but basically they are discussing law changes which would mean that a man can't use the 'excuse' that his wife was a nag or had an affair as provocation.

Seems to make sense to me, but seems like people are arguing that women are allowed to cite provocatioon after abuse (physical or mental) and so it's not fair!

Big difference between killing someone because they are a nag and killing someone because they are abusing you! Don't you think!?

hearnoevil Wed 23-Jul-08 15:35:13

well i'd agree on the physical abuse side as that would be tantamount to self defence.
but if you are talking about mental abuse and provocation then it becomes harder to define.
i mean surely your wife having an affair could be classed as mental abuse.
and i'd imagine no good barrister would use such a glib term as "nagging" in his clients defence, it would be puffed up and termed "serial mental abuse and destruction of self worth and confidence.constant allusions to inadequacy and failure..." etc.

so while yes i'd agree that ANYONE should be allowed use "battered wives" syndrome as it is often referred to in the defence of provocation. i think to start trivialising womens conduct that men might consider mental abuse while villifying mens actions that women would consider mental abuse by giving one the term "nagging" and the other "abuse" is a very poor legal route to go down.

PortAndLemon Wed 23-Jul-08 15:48:05

It's only relatively recently that the abuse thing came in as possible provocation. It used to be that there had to be one single thing that constituted provocation followed by an immediate loss of self-control, so discovering that your wife was having an affair counted whereas years of incidents of smaller abuse didn't.

The practical impact is limited anyway because provocation is only a partial defence (i.e. it just bumps the offence down to manslaughter from murder so that it doesn't carry an automatic life sentence).

And I agree with hearnoevil that encouraging the idea that women "nag" men and the men should just deal with it while men "mentally abuse" women and the woman needs help is the begining of a slippery slope (although she put it better than that). Better to look at the merits of each individual case, IMO.

beanieb Thu 24-Jul-08 10:39:30

"surely your wife having an affair could be classed as mental abuse" but murder? I mean would you really think someone should get away with murder because of an affair?!

hearnoevil Thu 24-Jul-08 10:50:21

no. but provaocation is not a complete defence. it can only go towards mitigating the sentence and in the case of murder to reduce the sentence to manslaughter.it will not lead to acquittal.
you say "should someone really get away with murder because of an affair" and the answer to that is no, it will not lead to a dismissal of a case only mitigating circumstances.
also i'd imagine that their are many who would argue the same about what you might call long term "mental abuse".
should someone get away with murder because they allege someone treated them badly when they have freedom of movemoent and could simply leave?
i'm not suggesting that it is that easy in real life by any stretch of the imagination, but when you are dealing with legal reasoning their can be no gender bias (except in the case of sex with minors apparently,but that's another issue)

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