People vs. Beltran: Amici Curiae Brief.
Apr 20, 2012
The Partnership, along with the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, California Women Lawyers, Queen’s Bench Bar Association of San Francisco Amicus Briefs Committee, and Women Lawyers of Sacramento submitted the brief on this case to request the Court to reevaluate the profound societal consequences of allowing habitual abusers who kill their intimate partners to escape full criminal culpability by raising the provocation defense. The provocation defense allows some murderers to avoid the full weight of society’s collective judgment that murderers should be dealt with as harshly as the law allows. As a concession to “human weakness,” the provocation defense tempers criminal culpability for those who kill in a fit of passion. The defense embodies the notion that even the most reasonable of “reasonable men” might sometimes lose control.