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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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And what about a murder case Say for instance a trial in

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And what about a murder case? Say for instance a trial in Ventura County here in CA right now. A boy shot and killed another boy in cold blood in the classroom. Everyone saw he did it.

The defense is arguing he was teased into doing it.

I ask you, is that justice? Should the defendant be able to argue that? You have 30 eyewitnesses that say he shot the boy in cold blood.

please answer thoroughly by using examples, use citations, and references if necessary.
Provocation is not a complete defense to murder although it may reduce it from first degree murder to second degree murder. That is what is sometimes called an "imperfect defense". The rationale being that it may defeat the "premeditation" element. Some states have a premeditation requirement for first degree murder while others do not. California does.

See: Provocation may reduce murder from first to second degree. (People v. Thomas (1945) 25 Cal.2d 880, 903 [156 P.2d 7] [provocation raised reasonable doubt about premeditation or deliberation, “leaving the homicide as murder of the second degree; i.e., an unlawful killing perpetrated with malice aforethought but without premeditation and deliberation”]
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
can I have your references
People v. Thomas, 156 P.2d 7 (Calif. 1945).

California Criminal Jury Instruction No. 522 - "Provocation: Effect on Degree of Murder"
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