2006 Ohio Revised Code - 2903.03. Voluntary manslaughter.

§ 2903.03. Voluntary manslaughter.

(A)  No person, while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage, either of which is brought on by serious provocation occasioned by the victim that is reasonably sufficient to incite the person into using deadly force, shall knowingly cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy. 

(B)  Whoever violates this section is guilty of voluntary manslaughter, a felony of the first degree. 

HISTORY: 134 v H 511 (Eff 1-1-74); 139 v H 103 (Eff 5-19-82); 139 v S 199 (Eff 1-5-83); 146 v S 2 (Eff 7-1-96); 146 v S 239. Eff 9-6-96.

Not analogous to former RC § 2903.03 (RS § 6937; S&C 667; 54 v 196; GC § 12964; 103 v 864; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53), repealed 134 v H 511, § 2, eff 1-1-74.


19xx Committee Report or Comment.

1974 Committee Comment to H 511 /D

This section defines an offense analogous to the former crime of voluntary manslaughter, with two important changes. 

First, former law required that the slaying be intentional, whereas this section requires that it be committed knowingly. Since proof of purpose also constitutes proof of knowledge, however, voluntary manslaughter remains a lesser included offense to both aggravated murder and murder. For example, in the trial of a charges of aggravated murder, if the jury finds that the killing was purposely done, but was not done with prior calculation or design or under circumstances constituting felony murder, it would be bound to return a verdict of guilty of murder. If, in addition, the jury found that the killing was done while the offender was under extreme emotional stress brought on by substantial and adequate provocation, the jury would be bound to return a verdict of guilty of voluntary manslaughter. 

Second, the former offense of voluntary manslaughter contemplated killings done in a sudden fit of rage or passion. This section includes such killings, but also includes homicides done while under extreme emotional stress which may be the result of a build-up of stress over a period of time. Both the former law and this section require that the offender's emotional state be the result of sufficient provocation. 

Voluntary manslaughter is a felony of the first degree. 

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