‘Red mist’ homicide: sexual infidelity and the English law of murder (glossing Titus Andronicus)

  title={‘Red mist’ homicide: sexual infidelity and the English law of murder (glossing Titus Andronicus)},
  author={A. Howe},
  journal={Legal Studies},
  pages={407 - 430}
  • A. Howe
  • Published 2013
  • Psychology
  • Legal Studies
For over 300 years, criminal courts have regarded sexual infidelity as sufficiently grave provocation as to provide a warrant, indeed a ‘moral warrant’, for reducing murder to manslaughter. While the warrant has spilled over into diminished responsibility defences, wounding, grievous bodily harm and attempted murder cases, it is provocation cases that have provided the precedents enshrining a defendant's impassioned homicidal sexual infidelity tale as excusatory. Periodically, judges and law… Expand
Enduring Fictions of Possession
A failed reform bid to exclude ‘infidelity’ as a trigger for loss of control in the new loss of control defence introduced in England and Wales in 2009 occasions this return to an enduring puzzle:Expand
‘Endlessly Valuable’ Discursive Work—Intimate Partner Femicide, an English Case Study
  • Howe
  • Political Science
  • 2019
Against the trend of roll-backs of pro-feminist initiatives by right-wing governments, feminist-led reforms to the law of murder deserve accolades as hard-fought feminist victories. For threeExpand
A dish served cold: targeting revenge in revenge pornography
Abstract The introduction of s 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, criminalising the disclosure of private sexual images, has been seen as a welcome step forward for curbing this abuse ofExpand
Mastering Emotions or Still Losing Control? Seeking Public Engagement with ‘Sexual Infidelity’ Homicide
This article explores the prospects and pitfalls faced by a feminist legal scholar wanting to set up a ‘sexual infidelity’ homicide public engagement project. Following Carol Smart’s suggestion thatExpand
The Implementation of Feminist Law Reforms
In 2005, the Australian State of Victoria abolished the controversial partial defence of provocation. Part of the impetus for the reforms was to challenge provocation’s victim-blaming narratives andExpand
Excessive warranted emotional killing : proposing a new partial defence following an evaluation of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 reform
The common law partial defence of provocation for murder was abolished and replaced by a new defence, loss of control, in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. The thesis evaluates the reform with anExpand
Feminist Methods and Sources in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • A. Howe
  • Sociology
  • Legal Information Management
  • 2016
Abstract This article by Adrian Howe is based on a presentation given at the ‘Sources and Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference’ in November 2015, jointly sponsored by the InstituteExpand
Dramatizing Intimate Femicide: Petitions, Plays, and Public Engagement (with a Shakespearean Gloss)
Le présent article porte sur mon projet de recherche actuel, qui consiste à intervenir culturellement en se fondant sur les arts pour inciter le public à considérer le meurtre d’une conjointe commeExpand


Sentencing Domestic Homicide Upon Provocation: Still `Getting Away with Murder
Sentencing practices in cases of domestic homicide have been the object of critical scrutiny on previous occasions across a number of jurisdictions. It has been suggested by some that these practicesExpand
Passion's Progress: Modern Law Reform and the Provocation Defense
Based on a systematic study of fifteen years of passion murder cases, this article concludes that reform challenges our conventional ideas of a "crime of passion" and, in the process, leads to aExpand
Provocation: A Cautionary Note
Lawyers concerned with battered wives who kill their abusers continue the struggle to widen the law to accommodate such killings within the partial defence of provocation. The Court of Appeal in R.Expand
Provocation in Crisis — Law’s Passion at the Crossroads? New Directions for Feminist Strategists
The provocation defence, law’s pre-eminent concession to ‘passion’, periodically incites review. Almost always the inciting incident is a homicide, or a spate of homicides, in which a man becomesExpand
Anger and Fear as Justifiable Preludes for Loss of Self-Control
Following the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, s. 56, the common law defence of provocation, which depended on a sudden and temporary loss of self-control (following R v Duffy1), is now abolished, asExpand
‘Were it not against our laws’: oppression and resistance in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors
The Comedy of Errors, always loved on the stage, has long been deemed less substantial than Shakespeare's ‘mature’ works. Its references to private and public law have certainly been noted: a trial,Expand
Taking the heat out of provocation
Provocation's past shows it to be a defence grounded in the concept of excessive defence. The quality of the defendant's reasons for killing - the 'proportionality' of his conduct - formed a vitalExpand
Provocation's Reasonable Man: A Plea for Self-Control
The defence of provocation is a perennial source of problems for trial judges. One of the most difficult problems they have to face is directing juries on the objective test, namely 'whether theExpand
A ‘Right to Passions’? Compassion’s Sexed Asymmetry and a Minor Comedy of Errors
This paper reflects on the experience of presenting a limit test case based on passion/provocation cases against a proposed ‘right to passions’ suggested by proponents of a sentimental jurisprudence.Expand
What Future for Voluntary Manslaughter?
This article examines the Law Commission's Consultation Paper, Partial Defences to Murder, which was published in June 2003. There are fundamental problems with the defence of provocation. The authorExpand