Can Murder be Reduced to Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is not murder (murder in general). Manslaughter is a non intended killing of one individual caused by a heat of passion, whereas murder is planned and usually has a reason. An example of manslaughter is if Johnny Appleseed goes in to a bar and has a heated argument with John Doe and Appleseed kills Doe with a broken glass in a heat of passion. However, interestingly enough embedded in this example are several flaws that may turn a D.A. to charge the defendant with murder. Though farfetched, the D.A. could argue that Appleseed planned this event. Appleseed could have invited John Doe to the bar and planned to kill Doe there out of hatred; Appleseed planned to argue with Doe and killed him then and there.

However, with that said, there are several ways, though we will only discuss one way to mitigate murder to manslaughter. First, a reasonable person would act the same way Appleseed did in that situation (under the same circumstances) (Emory Law Journal 2012). Would a reasonable person in that situation be in a heat of passion and if so would the reasonable person kill in heat of passion. For example, If Mrs. Lee (or any other reasonable person) killed Mr. Lee (or any other person)  because of the same or similar argument Appleseed and Doe had then manslaughter applies. If not then murder applies.


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