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Legal Statutes: Alaska

UPDATED September 14, 2017

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Article 1. Homicide

back to topSec. 11.41.115. Defenses to murder


(a) In a prosecution under AS 11.41.100(a)(1)(A) or 11.41.110(a)(1), it is a defense that the defendant acted in a heat of passion, before there had been a reasonable opportunity for the passion to cool, when the heat of passion resulted from a serious provocation by the intended victim.

(b) In a prosecution under AS 11.41.110(a)(3), it is an affirmative defense that the defendant

(1) did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit or aid in its commission;

(2) was not armed with a dangerous instrument;

(3) had no reasonable ground to believe that another participant, if any, was armed with a dangerous instrument; and

(4) had no reasonable ground to believe that another participant, if any, intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

(c) A person may not be convicted of murder in the second degree under AS 11.41.110(a)(3) if the only underlying crime is burglary, the sole purpose of the burglary is a criminal homicide, and the person killed is the intended victim of the defendant. However, if the defendant causes the death of any other person, the defendant may be convicted of murder in the second degree under AS 11.41.110(a)(3). Nothing in this subsection precludes a prosecution for or conviction of murder in the first degree or murder in the second degree under AS 11.41.110(a)(1) or (2) or of any other crime, including manslaughter or burglary.

(d) Repealed.

(e) Nothing in (a) or (b) of this section precludes a prosecution for or conviction of manslaughter or any other crime not specifically precluded.

(f) In this section,

(1) “intended victim” means a person whom the defendant was attempting to kill or to whom the defendant was attempting to cause serious physical injury when the defendant caused the death of the person the defendant is charged with killing;

(2) “serious provocation” means conduct which is sufficient to excite an intense passion in a reasonable person in the defendant's situation, other than a person who is intoxicated, under the circumstances as the defendant reasonably believed them to be; insulting words, insulting gestures, or hearsay reports of conduct engaged in by the intended victim do not, alone or in combination with each other, constitute serious provocation.
SLA 1978, ch. 166, § 3; SLA 1980, ch. 102, §§ 3, 44; SLA 1988, ch. 67, § 2.