People v. Borchers Case Brief
Summary of People v. Borchers
S.Ct CA 1958
Facts: Def had been living as though common law marriage with Dotty. D hired an investigator who discovered Dotty was giving a known pimp money, and having sex with him. After Dotty tried to shoot herself and jump out of the moving car, the def “heard the explosion of the gun as he shot Dotty in the back of the head.”
Issue: Whether trial court erred in reducing the class of crime found by the jury?
Procedure: Trial ct judge modified the jury’s finding by reducing one degree to voluntary manslaughter. Affirmed.
Rule: Voluntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being, without malice upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion, not motivated by revenge.
Court Rationale: The trial court judge’s view of the evidence as a whole concluded that the def was “roused to a heat of passion by a series of events over a considerable period of time. Dotty’s admitted infidelity, her statements that she wished she were dead, her attempt to jump from the car, her repeated urging that def shoot her, Tony, and himself . . . Passion may be any violent, intense, highwrought or enthusiastic emotion. * * * that defendant killed in wild desperation induced by Dotty’s long continued provocatory conduct . . . .”