What Exactly Is “Manslaughter” in the Alec Baldwin Case?
Alec Baldwin is expected to be charged for involuntary manslaughter for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins:
Baldwin has long maintained his innocence, saying in televised interviews that gun safety wasn’t his responsibility and that he did not pull the trigger.
Reports prepared by FBI analysts in Virginia, however, cast doubt on that claim, saying a replica of a vintage Pietta Colt .45, “functioned normally when tested in the laboratory.”
The FBI report also noted that, in order for the revolver to fire, the trigger would have been pulled.
What’s all this manslaughter business, you might ask? Let’s start with the New Mexico manslaughter statute (though, as we’ll see, we won’t end with that):
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice.
A. Voluntary manslaughter consists of manslaughter committed upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.
Whoever commits voluntary manslaughter is guilty of a third degree felony resulting in the death of a human being.
So voluntary manslaughter is (to oversimplify slightly) when you mean to kill someone, and you don’t have a defense such as self-defense, but the law treats the killing as a lesser crime than murder because there was some “sufficient provocation“:
“All that is required (to make of the killing manslaughter) is sufficient provocation to excite in the mind of the defendant such
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