skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 95512 Find in a Library
Title: Defining the Crime of Excessive Self-Defense - Voluntary Manslaughter in Illinois
Journal: Northern Illinois University Law Review  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1982)  Pages:217-234
Author(s): J A Pirko
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 18
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This comment provides what the official comments to the Illinois Criminal Code excluded when a second definition was added to the prior statutory description of voluntary manslaughter: the apparent reasons and justifications for inclusion of this new subsection, an explanation of how the courts have interpreted the language of the statute, and an analysis of what types of behavior might lead to conviction under its provisions.
Abstract: The type of voluntary manslaughter provided for in subsection 9-2(b) of the Illinois Criminal Code has been characterized as a killing performed in the 'unreasonable belief that deadly force is necessary to protect (the actor) from imminent death or great bodily harm,' and is at times referred to as an imperfect claim to the right of self-defense. To convict under 9-2(b), it must be shown that the accused acted intentionally or knowingly, the accused believed the killing would be excused or justified under article 7 of the Code, and such belief was unreasonable. The latter two elements are closely related and considered together, as the requirement of reasonableness is an integral portion of any self-defense claim. Subsection 9-2(b) works well as a compromise between murder and exoneration. Overall, this second definition of voluntary manslaughter permits the aggressor-killer to be convicted of murder, the retreating-aggressor or excessive defender to be convicted of voluntary manslaughter, and the legitimate self-defender to be exonerated. As the legitimate self-defender to be exonerated. As such, it appears to be a welcome addition to the law in any jurisdiction. Ninety-six footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Criminal codes; Criminal intent; Criminal law; Illinois; Manslaughter; Police chiefs; Self defense; State laws
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.