Husbands who kill wives can no longer claim they were provoked
Following several years of consultation, the Government will next week announce the end of the "crime of passion" defence of provocation used by virtually all male defendants pleading not guilty to murder of a female partner.Parents who kill paedophiles can plead not guilty to murder
Around 100 men a year kill their former or current partners, and provocation - such as failing to cook a meal, or persistent nagging - is the main form of defence used by barristers.
Relatives have complained that they have found it upsetting when murder suspects invoke lurid allegations about the victims' private lives.
In contrast, it is comparatively difficult for lawyers representing the 30 women a year on average who kill their partners to argue that they were provoked, as the crime tends not to take place in the heat of the moment, but is typically pre-planned.
While provocation is likely to remain on the statute book as a defence, it will be limited to the most serious instances, and will not include adultery or nagging.
Rape victims who retaliate against a taunting attacker will also be able to legitimately claim they had been provoked, according to the new rules.An end to the easy way out. The provocation defence has helped countless men escape a murder charge. Now the law is changing
In the first shake-up of the murder laws for 50 years, the defence of provocation is being radically stream-lined to apply in only the most extreme of circumstances.
Jealous husbands who kill their partners in a rage because they have been unfaithful will no longer be able to plead provocation.
The defence will, however, be open to battered wives who fear future violence from their partner, as well as those driven to kill in the most exceptional of circumstances - such as during a confrontation with a rapist or paedophile.
Miesten tekemissä murhissa tyypillinen puolustus naisen uskottomuudesta tai nalkutuksesta ei enää kelpaa tuomiota alentavaksi perusteluksi. Esim. jos mies tulee kotiin ja huomaa vaimonsa sängyssä toisen miehen kanssa, niin tuomiota alentavaksi selitykseksi ei käy, että "Näin punaista ja menetin itsehillintäni".
Sen sijaan jos parisuhteessa pahoinpidelty vaimo tappaa miehensä, hän voi käyttää tuomiota alentavaksi puolustukseksi miehen väkivaltaisuutta.
Toisin sanoen pettämisessä tms. ei ole kyse vakavasta provosoinnista, joka oikeuttaisi alempaan tuomioon, mutta suhteessa pahoinpidellyillä naisilla ajatellaan olevan alentunut syyntakeisuus.
Lisäys: Erin Pizzey, champion of women's rights, says radical feminist plans to let victims of domestic abuse get away with murder are an affront to morality