ASSEMBLY, No. 1796







Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Assemblyman  TIM EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblywoman  JOANN DOWNEY

District 11 (Monmouth)


Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Caride, Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, Assemblymen Burzichelli, Calabrese, Assemblywoman Jasey, Assemblymen Chiaravalloti, Zwicker, Assemblywoman Swain, Assemblyman Tully, Assemblywomen Quijano, Lopez and Assemblyman Houghtaling






     Prohibits “gay panic” defense for murder; prevents reduction of murder charge to manslaughter committed in heat of passion under certain circumstances.



     As reported by the Assembly Judiciary Committee with technical review.


An Act concerning homicide committed in the heat of passion and amending N.J.S.2C:11-4.


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    N.J.S.2C:11-4 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:11-4.     Manslaughter. a. Criminal homicide constitutes aggravated manslaughter when:

     (1)   The actor recklessly causes death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life; or

     (2)   The actor causes the death of another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2.  Notwithstanding the provision of any other law to the contrary, the actor shall be strictly liable for a violation of this paragraph upon proof of a violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 which resulted in the death of another person.  As used in this paragraph, "actor" shall not include a passenger in a motor vehicle.

     b.    Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter when:

     (1)   It is committed recklessly; or

     (2)   A homicide which would otherwise be murder under [section] N.J.S.2C:11-3 is committed in the heat of passion resulting from a reasonable provocation.

     For purposes of determining the heat of passion under this paragraph, a provocation is not objectively reasonable if it is based on the discovery of, knowledge about, or potential disclosure of the homicide victim’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression, or affectional or sexual orientation, including under circumstances in which the victim made an unwanted, non-forcible romantic or sexual advance toward the actor, or if the victim and actor dated or had a romantic or sexual relationship.  As used herein, the term “gender identity or expression” shall have the same meaning as in subsection rr. of section 5 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-5), and “affectional or sexual orientation” shall have the same meaning as in subsection hh. of that section.

     c.     Aggravated manslaughter under paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section is a crime of the first degree and upon conviction thereof a person may, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-6, be sentenced to an ordinary term of imprisonment between 10 and 30 years.  Aggravated manslaughter under paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section is a crime of the first degree.  Manslaughter is a crime of the second degree.

(cf: P.L.2001, c.412, s.1)


     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.