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  • NJ A429
  • Prohibits "gay panic" defense for murder; prevents reduction of murder charge to manslaughter committed in heat of passion under certain circumstances.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would prohibit the use of a so-called "gay panic" defense for the commission of murder. The bill is intended to prevent a defendant from seeking the reduction of a murder charge to a charge of manslaughter committed in the heat of passion, allegedly provoked by the discovery of, knowledge about, or potential disclosure of the homicide victim's actual or perceived gender identity or expression, or affectional or sexual orientation. Under current law, a homicide which would otherwise be murder is reduced to manslaughter if the jury finds that the homicide was committed "in the heat of passion resulting from a reasonable provocation." N.J.S.2C:11-4, subsection b., paragraph (2). A provoked, heat of passion manslaughter is graded as a crime of the second degree, ordinarily punishable by five to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000, or both, while murder is a crime of the first degree, punishable by a term of imprisonment for a period ranging from 30 years to life, depending upon the circumstances of the act (see N.J.S.2C:11-3), a fine of up to $200,000, or both. The bill's provisions would most notably prevent the use of the "gay panic" defense to seek a reduction to manslaughter under circumstances in which the homicide victim made an unwanted, non-forcible romantic or sexual advance toward the actor, or if the victim and actor dated or had a romantic or sexual relationship.
Judiciary
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified