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Intimate Partner Homicides: “Passionate Crime” Arguments in the Portuguese Supreme Court of Justice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2021

Cátia Pontedeira*
Affiliation:
Faculty of Law of the University of Porto, Portugal and ISMAI – University Institute of Maia, Portugal
Jorge Quintas
Affiliation:
Faculty of Law of the University of Porto, Portugal
Sandra Walklate
Affiliation:
Liverpool University, UK and Monash University, Australia
*
*Corresponding Author: Cátia Pontedeira, Faculty of Law of the University of Porto, Rua dos Bragas 223, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal. E-mail: catiapontedeira@hotmail.com
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Abstract

Intimate partner homicides are often described as “passionate crimes”. While most sentencing studies focus on the analysis of the impact of specific characteristics of the offender, victim or the crime in sentencing, this study aims to analyse how “passionate crimes” are described in the Portuguese Supreme Court of Justice outcomes. From a qualitative analysis of 24 sentences, it is possible to conclude that passion is often related to jealousy, describing out-of-control offenders, arguments about cold-minded actions versus premeditated actions, and when describing prevention needs involved in sentencing these crimes. The defence often raises arguments minimising the gravity of the homicide due to strong “passion” emotion, but the Supreme Court of Justice has been declining most of them. The fact that most of these crimes are premeditated and actions happen with a “cold mind” also inhibits the “hot-blooded” “passionate” excuse for the crime. Results suggest that the Supreme Court of Justice is increasingly concerned about the necessity of preventing intimate partner homicides given its gravity and social impact.

Abstracto

Abstracto

Los homicidios de pareja íntima a menudo se describen como “crímenes apasionados”. Si bien la mayoría de los estudios sobre sentencias se centran en el análisis del impacto de las características específicas del delincuente, la víctima o el delito en la sentencia, este estudio tiene como objetivo analizar cómo se describen los “crímenes apasionados” en los resultados de la Corte Suprema de Justicia portuguesa. A partir de un análisis cualitativo de veinticuatro sentencias, es posible concluir que la pasión a menudo se relaciona con los celos, describiendo ofensores fuera de control, argumentos sobre acciones de mente fría versus acciones premeditadas, y al describir las necesidades de prevención involucradas en la sentencia de estos delitos. La defensa a menudo plantea argumentos que minimizan la gravedad del homicidio debido a una fuerte emoción de “pasión”, pero la Corte Suprema de Justicia ha estado rechazando la mayoría de ellos. El hecho de que la mayoría de estos crímenes son premeditados y las acciones ocurren con “mente fría” también inhibe la excusa “apasionada” de “sangre caliente” del crimen. Los resultados sugieren que la Corte Suprema de Justicia está cada vez más preocupada por la necesidad de prevenir los homicidios de parejas íntimas dada su gravedad e impacto social.

Abstrait

Abstrait

Les homicides entre partenaires intimes sont souvent décrits comme des «crimes passionnés». Alors que la plupart des études sur la détermination de la peine se concentrent sur l’analyse de l’incidence de caractéristiques spécifiques du délinquant, de la victime ou du crime sur la détermination de la peine; cette étude vise à analyser la manière dont les «crimes passionnés» sont décrits dans les conclusions de la Cour suprême portugaise de justice. À partir d’une analyse qualitative de vingt-quatre sentences, il est possible de conclure que la passion est souvent liée à la jalousie, décrivant des délinquants incontrôlables, des arguments sur les actions d’esprit froid par rapport aux actions préméditées, et lors de la description des besoins de prévention impliqués dans la détermination de la peine de ces crimes. La défense soulève souvent des arguments minimisant la gravité de l’homicide en raison d’une forte émotion «passionnelle», mais la Cour suprême de justice a refusé la plupart d’entre eux. Le fait que la plupart de ces crimes soient prémédités et que les actions se déroulent avec «l’esprit froid» inhibe également l’excuse «passionnée» de «sang chaud» du crime. Les résultats suggèrent que la Cour suprême de justice est de plus en plus préoccupée par la nécessité de prévenir les homicides entre partenaires intimes, compte tenu de sa gravité et de son impact social.

抽象

抽象

亲密伴侣俀人通常被称为“充满激情的罪行”。虽然大多数酿刑研究都侧酿于分朿罪犯,㿗害者或犯罪中特定特弿对酿刑的影呿;这项研究旨在分朿葡濄牙最高法院结果中对“充满激情的犯罪”的使述。通过对二㽿四个㿥嫿的定性分朿,㿯以得出这样的结论:激情常常与嫉妒有关,使述失控者,关于冷漠行为与有预谋行为的论点,以㿊使述酿刑时涉㿊的预防需褿。由于强烈的“激情”情绪,辩护方繿常使出将谋俀的严酿性闿至最低的论点,但最高法院一直拒繿了其中的大多数。这些犯罪大多数都是有预谋的,并且采㿖“冷漠”徿度行事的事实,也抑制了犯罪的“热血”,“热情”借㿣。结果表明,鉴于其严酿性和社会影呿,最高法院越俥越关注防止亲密伴侣俀人案的必褿性。

ملخّص

ملخّص

غالبا ما توصف جرائم قتل الشريك الحميم بأنها جرائم عاطفية. بينما تركز معظم دراسات الأحكام على تحليل تأثير خصائصمعينة للجاني أو الضحية أو الجريمة في إصدار الأحكام؛ تهدف هذه الدراسة إلى تحليل كيفية وصف الجرائم العاطفية في الأحكام النهائية لمحكمة العدل العليا في البرتغال. فمن خلال التحليل النوعي لأربعة وعشرين حكما، من الممكن الاستنتاج أن العاطفية (الشغف العاطفي) غالبا ما تكون مرتبطة بالغيرة ووصف الجناة بأنهم خارج نطاق السيطرة. تدور الحجج التي تسوقها المحكمة حول الأفعال المرتكبة في خضم العاطفية مقابل الأفعال المتعمدة التي يتم تنفيذها بعقل بارد. كما تتم الإشارة إلى الغيرة في إصدار الأحكام على هذه الجرائم عند معالجة كيفية ردع ارتكابها. غالبا ما يثير الدفاع حججا تخفف من عقوبة جريمة القتل الناتجة عن الإحساس ب"الشغف العاطفي. لكن محكمة العدل العليا رفضت معظمها. وحقيقة أن معظم هذه الجرائم متعمدة وأن الأفعال ترتكب بعقل بارد تحول أيضا دون اعتبار الطبع الحاد أو العاطفية مبررا للجريمة. تشير النتائج إلى أن محكمة العدل العليا تشعر بقلق متزايد بشأن ضرورة منع جرائم قتل الشريك الحميم نظرا لخطورتها وتأثيرها الاجتماعي.

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Article
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© International Society of Criminology 2021

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