A killing that would otherwise be murder is reduced to voluntary manslaughter, if the defendant killed someone because of a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.

The defendant killed someone because of a sudden quarrel or in a heat of passion if:

☐ The defendant was provoked; As a result of the provocation, the defendant acted rashly and under the influence of intense emotion that obscured (his/her) reasoning or judgment;


☐ The provocation would have caused a person of average disposition to act rashly and without due deliberation, that is, from passion rather than from judgment.

Involuntary Manslaughter

When a person commits an unlawful killing but does not intend to kill and does not act with conscious disregard for human life, then the crime is involuntary manslaughter.

The difference between other homicide offenses and involuntary manslaughter depends on whether the person was aware of the risk to life that his or her actions created and conscious disregard of that risk.

An unlawful killing caused by a willful act done with full knowledge and awareness that the person is endangering the life of another, and done in conscious disregard of that risk, is voluntary manslaughter or murder.

An unlawful killing resulting from a willful act committed without intent to kill and without conscious disregard of the risk to human life is involuntary manslaughter.

The defendant committed involuntary manslaughter if:

☐ The defendant (committed a crime that posed a high risk of death or great bodily injury because of the way in which it was committed/ [or] committed a lawful act, but acted with criminal negligence);


☐ The defendant’s acts unlawfully caused the death of another person.