Netlaw wants to put the concept of provocation right into its proper perspective from the outset.
Read the following paragraph carefully.
Provocation can only be a formal defence to a charge of murder and no other criminal charge.
Even then, if you are successful in raising the defence of provocation, then the result is only to reduce the charge of murder to one of manslaughter.
Of course, if you are found guilty of murder then you are subject to the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with the provision that the Sentencing Judge can impose a minimum non parole period of longer than the usual minimum ten years imprisonment applying to the sentence of life imprisonment.
The Sentencing Act 2002 has recently given High Court Judges to set lesser periods than life Imprisonment.
The first test of this power came on Friday 30 August 2002 when an elderly man was sentenced to a very light 18 months in prison for the " mercy " killing of his wife who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
If you are convicted of a lesser offence of manslaughter , because your defence of provocation has been successful, then the Sentencing Judge has a discretion and there is a very wide range of manslaughter sentences in New Zealand.
Some manslaughter penalties have been as high as ten and twelve years imprisonment but, at the other
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