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Mord im Affekt

English translation: "in the heat of passion"

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23:39 Nov 12, 2000
German to English translations [Non-PRO]
Law/Patents
German term or phrase: Mord im Affekt
Homicide which is not considered premeditated murder according to German law). A perpetrator can be allowed mitigating circumstances if the offence was committed "im Affekt", i.e. in the heat of the moment. I imagine there is a more "technical" term.
Barbara Scheibe
English translation:"in the heat of passion"
Explanation:
The above answers is very good and supported by Hamblock/Wessels, Romain, Pons Fachwörterbuch Recht, Dietl/Lorenz

The above dictionaries also give two other translations, which are also often used in North American and British legal texts:

"irresistible impulse" which can also be translated back to "unwiderstehlicher Trieb" and is apparently a type of "temporary insanity".

"irresistible impulse" gets 1100 Alta Vista English hits, including "Anatomy of a Murder" as here:

http://law.touro.edu/Publications/LawReview/vol12n1/pg123.ht...

"ROBERT TRAVER, ANATOMY OF A MURDER 418 (St. Martin's Press 1958). In this novel, the judge instructed the jury concerning expert testimony offered on behalf of the defendant concerning a type of insanity known as "irresistible impulse" as follows:
I charge you that such a form of insanity is recognized as a defense to crime in Michigan and that it is the law of this state that even if the defendant had been able to comprehend the nature and consequences of his act, and to know that it was wrong, that nevertheless if he was forced to its execution by an irresistible impulse which he was powerless to control in consequence of a temporary or permanent disease of the mind, then he was insane and you should acquit him."

and here:

http://www.forensic-psychiatrist.com/insanity.html

+"irresistible impulse" +murder gets only 300 hits, including:

http://www.fc.peachnet.edu/cj/lawe1177/4-defenses.htm

"The statute, as worded, covers conduct that is not specific to the Irresistible Impulse Rule, but includes it. The Irresistible Impulse Rule is also called "temporary insanity." It occurs when events cause a person to be so overcome with passion as to be compelled to commit the crime, and would do so, knowing that they were subject to punishment and "even if there were a policeman at their elbow."

http://www.law.emory.edu/6circuit/aug96/96a0246p.06.html

In Wood v. Marshall, this Court addressed the contention that “placing the burden of proof of irresistible impulse on [the defendant] violated his due process rights, because one acting under an irresistible impulse necessarily acts without the required mens rea.” 790 F.2d at 549 (italics added). The defendant Wood was convicted of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, each crime of which, under Ohio law, contained a “purposeful” mens rea. Id. Dismissing the claim that one acting under an “irresistible impulse” cannot act “purposely,” id., we stated that:
[W]e reject Wood’s contention that proof of the insanity defense negates either the voluntariness or the mens rea element of the crimes with which he was charged. If the defense does not bear upon an element of the crime, placing the burden of proof of the defense on the defendant does not violate his due process rights under In Re Winship, Mullaney, or Patterson.

+"temporary insanity" +murder gets 700 hits, including this British site:

http://www.lurking.demon.co.uk/mind/crime/causes.htm

but nothing more directly from British courts.

+"heat of passion" +murder gets only 30 British hits, mostly dealing primarily with literature and films, but again not much from courts. When extended to North America, there are 1200 hits including:

http://www.michianalawyers.com/dictionary.html

"manslaughter: Unlawful killing of another without malice during the commission of certain minor crimes or in the heat of passion or through willful, wanton or reckless misconduct. material evidence: Evidence that bears directly on the issues in dispute"

and this from the US Supreme Court and Cornell University:

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/97-6203.ZD.html

"In homicide cases, Maine sought to presume malice from the fact of an intentional killing alone, subject to the defendant’s right to prove he had acted in the heat of passion."

I am certainly no lawyer but there are some people among the among the ProZ members who have a lot of experience in this field. Perhaps one of them can explain the exact legal difference between "temporary insanity", "irresistible impulse" and "in the heat of passion". For a nonprofessional like me, it appears that perhaps "temporary insanity" and/or "irresistible impulse" are forms of insanity, which could be viewed a reason for complete acquittal, but that "in the heat of passion" is less decisive and could only be viewed as a reason for a milder sentence or as Leipzig and Black said "as a basis for mitigating murder to manslaughter".
Selected response from:

Dan McCrosky
Local time: 03:18
Grading comment
Thanks for your very detailed answer - and sorry for my delay (I was out of town for the past two days).
Barbara
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
navoluntary manslaughterRike Zietlow
na"in the heat of passion"Dan McCrosky
nanon-premeditated murder, crime of passionxxxLia Fail
nain the heat of passion or the moment
Anthony Frey


  

Answers


15 mins
in the heat of passion or the moment


Explanation:
This is based on Black's Law Dictionary (Definitions of American and English Jurisprudence): Heat of passion - a term used by the common law to refer to the condition of a defendant who can assert provocation as a basis for mitigating murder to manslaughter. Refers to passion or anger suddenly aroused at the time by some immediate and reasonable provocation, by words or acts of one at the time. As sufficient to reduce killing from murder to voluntary manslaughter means any intense or vehement emotional excitement of the kind prompting violent and aggressive action, which would cause an ordinary person to act on impulse without reflection. The term includes an emotional state of mind characterized by anger, rage, hatred, furious resentment or terror.
Hope this helps!

Anthony Frey
United States
Local time: 21:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 444
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 hrs
non-premeditated murder, crime of passion


Explanation:
If you are classifying crimes from a judicial point of view manslaughter - the implication is that it was not premeditated

If you're describing the circumstances, in English we use the French `crime passionel', or 'crime of passion' to refer to the murder as 'non-premeditated murder'

http://www.google.com/search?q=non-premeditated murder&btnG=...

xxxLia Fail
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 hrs
"in the heat of passion"


Explanation:
The above answers is very good and supported by Hamblock/Wessels, Romain, Pons Fachwörterbuch Recht, Dietl/Lorenz

The above dictionaries also give two other translations, which are also often used in North American and British legal texts:

"irresistible impulse" which can also be translated back to "unwiderstehlicher Trieb" and is apparently a type of "temporary insanity".

"irresistible impulse" gets 1100 Alta Vista English hits, including "Anatomy of a Murder" as here:

http://law.touro.edu/Publications/LawReview/vol12n1/pg123.ht...

"ROBERT TRAVER, ANATOMY OF A MURDER 418 (St. Martin's Press 1958). In this novel, the judge instructed the jury concerning expert testimony offered on behalf of the defendant concerning a type of insanity known as "irresistible impulse" as follows:
I charge you that such a form of insanity is recognized as a defense to crime in Michigan and that it is the law of this state that even if the defendant had been able to comprehend the nature and consequences of his act, and to know that it was wrong, that nevertheless if he was forced to its execution by an irresistible impulse which he was powerless to control in consequence of a temporary or permanent disease of the mind, then he was insane and you should acquit him."

and here:

http://www.forensic-psychiatrist.com/insanity.html

+"irresistible impulse" +murder gets only 300 hits, including:

http://www.fc.peachnet.edu/cj/lawe1177/4-defenses.htm

"The statute, as worded, covers conduct that is not specific to the Irresistible Impulse Rule, but includes it. The Irresistible Impulse Rule is also called "temporary insanity." It occurs when events cause a person to be so overcome with passion as to be compelled to commit the crime, and would do so, knowing that they were subject to punishment and "even if there were a policeman at their elbow."

http://www.law.emory.edu/6circuit/aug96/96a0246p.06.html

In Wood v. Marshall, this Court addressed the contention that “placing the burden of proof of irresistible impulse on [the defendant] violated his due process rights, because one acting under an irresistible impulse necessarily acts without the required mens rea.” 790 F.2d at 549 (italics added). The defendant Wood was convicted of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, each crime of which, under Ohio law, contained a “purposeful” mens rea. Id. Dismissing the claim that one acting under an “irresistible impulse” cannot act “purposely,” id., we stated that:
[W]e reject Wood’s contention that proof of the insanity defense negates either the voluntariness or the mens rea element of the crimes with which he was charged. If the defense does not bear upon an element of the crime, placing the burden of proof of the defense on the defendant does not violate his due process rights under In Re Winship, Mullaney, or Patterson.

+"temporary insanity" +murder gets 700 hits, including this British site:

http://www.lurking.demon.co.uk/mind/crime/causes.htm

but nothing more directly from British courts.

+"heat of passion" +murder gets only 30 British hits, mostly dealing primarily with literature and films, but again not much from courts. When extended to North America, there are 1200 hits including:

http://www.michianalawyers.com/dictionary.html

"manslaughter: Unlawful killing of another without malice during the commission of certain minor crimes or in the heat of passion or through willful, wanton or reckless misconduct. material evidence: Evidence that bears directly on the issues in dispute"

and this from the US Supreme Court and Cornell University:

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/97-6203.ZD.html

"In homicide cases, Maine sought to presume malice from the fact of an intentional killing alone, subject to the defendant’s right to prove he had acted in the heat of passion."

I am certainly no lawyer but there are some people among the among the ProZ members who have a lot of experience in this field. Perhaps one of them can explain the exact legal difference between "temporary insanity", "irresistible impulse" and "in the heat of passion". For a nonprofessional like me, it appears that perhaps "temporary insanity" and/or "irresistible impulse" are forms of insanity, which could be viewed a reason for complete acquittal, but that "in the heat of passion" is less decisive and could only be viewed as a reason for a milder sentence or as Leipzig and Black said "as a basis for mitigating murder to manslaughter".


Dan McCrosky
Local time: 03:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1541
Grading comment
Thanks for your very detailed answer - and sorry for my delay (I was out of town for the past two days).
Barbara
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day 3 hrs
voluntary manslaughter


Explanation:
The definition for voluntary manslaughter given by the website below seems to agree with your definition above. The same website defines both first and second degree murder as premeditated, while Collins translates second degree murder as "Totschlag", which I always assumed was not premeditated. I'm none the wiser, but maybe the reference gives you some further clues.

Good Luck
Rike


    Reference: http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/m012.htm
Rike Zietlow
Local time: 02:18
PRO pts in pair: 8
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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