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Crime of Passion Law Illinois

Experts often say that a single incident can transform our lives positively or make our lives topsy-turvy. Similarly, a single thought or action can also change our lives. Especially, when people take an action without applying their mind and in the heat of their sudden emotions, there are chances of their lives getting ruined. A crime of passion is such an act.

But the point that is emphasized by lawmakers and the law-enforcing authorities is that even though the crime of passion is committed without any pre-meditated plans or without any intention, the person who commits it deserves punishment.

That is why governments of countries have laid down laws for deterring people from committing even such crimes. In the USA also, there is a crime of passion law. In fact, every state of the USA has put in place the crime of passion law for preventing these crimes and for awarding appropriate punishments to the convicts. Let us now find out more about the Illinois crime of passion law. But what is a crime of passion in the general terms? Let us try to know.

A crime of passion explained

What is a crime of passion and what is the crime of passion law? What is the general definition of this crime? What does the crime of passion mean? These may be the questions that may haunt laymen, both literate or otherwise. A crime of passion is, in general, a homicide, that is a violent crime. But the person who commits this crime does not carry it out due to a premeditated thought or plan but he or she commits it due to sudden impulse that strongly forces him or her to commit it.
This means that crimes of passion do not involve malice aforethought. That is the reason in a number of jurisdictions, the courts may charge the perpetrator of second-degree murder or manslaughter and not of first-degree murder. In this context, it should be remembered that a first-degree murder should have the element of pre-meditated plans or ideas. Simply put, if the courts think that the perpetrator has committed the crime due to temporary insanity, they can reduce the murder charge and decide that the crime belongs to the category of manslaughter.

Illinois Crime of Passion Law

The crime of passion law in the state of Illinois

According to the crime of passion law Illinois state has laid down, homicide is intentional killing or unintentional killing of another person. This can be manslaughter or murder. While the crime of murder involves killing with an intention, there is no intentional killing in manslaughter. The laws of most of the states of the USA speak about a number of acts that constitute the crime of manslaughter. But the laws of the state of Illinois recognize only voluntary manslaughter in which the victim is an unborn child.

According to the Illinois crime of passion law, there are two clauses that govern this statute. They are:

  1. If the offender carries out the act of killing due to intense and sudden passion that is caused when another person seriously provokes him or her and if the perpetrator accidentally or negligently kills an unborn child though he or she has endeavored to kill the person who provoked him or her, it is categorized under the crime of passion.
  2. Secondly, if the offender knowingly or intentionally causes the death of an unborn child and even if he or she believes that there are justifiable circumstances that exonerate him or her of the crime, though it is an unreasonable belief, it also comes under the crime of passion.

The main difference between the two clauses is that in the former, the offender commits the crime when he or she is under a less culpable and reckless state of mind. In the latter clause, the crime is committed intentionally or knowingly which means that the perpetrator carries out the act of killing an unborn child with a more culpable state of mind.

Illinois Crime of Passion
Punishments awarded to the perpetrators of crimes of passion according to Illinois laws.

Earlier, according to the crime of passion law in Illinois, voluntary manslaughter used to be considered under the crime category of second-degree murders: But currently, the state laws do not consider this homicide crime as a voluntary homicide. As per the current laws of the state, it has been put under the category of second-degree murders. The main point is that an accused will be charged with voluntary manslaughter only if an unborn child is a victim of his or her activity. The crime is very serious because it is similar to a second-degree murder in which an unborn child is a victim.

Since voluntary manslaughter in which an unborn child is a victim has been put under Class I felony crimes, the convict will be awarded one or more of the following punishments.

  1. Imprisonment for a period ranging between 4 years and 15 years.
  2. Periodic imprisonment for a period that does not exceed 3 or 4 years.
  3. Probation for a period not exceeding 4 years or conditional discharge for such a period.
  4. A fine of an amount that does not exceed $25,000.
  5. Restitution.
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