What is the test for reducing a murder to voluntary manslaughter?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from People v. Perkins, A144225 (Cal. App. 2016):

" 'A murder . . . may be reduced to voluntary manslaughter if the victim engaged in provocative conduct that would cause an ordinary person with an average disposition to act rashly or without due deliberation and reflection.' " (People v. Enraca (2012) 53 Cal.4th 735, 758-759.) For example, the ordinary self-defense doctrine, sometimes referred to as perfect self-defense, is applicable "when a defendant reasonably believes that his safety is endangered." (People v. Enraca, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p. 761.) Further, " 'one who kills in imperfect defense of others in the actual but unreasonable belief he must defend another from imminent danger of death or great bodily injury is guilty only of manslaughter.' [Citation.] . . . To satisfy the imminence requirement, '[f]ear of future harmno matter how great the fear and no matter how great the likelihood of the harm will not suffice. The defendant's fear must be of imminent danger to life or great

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