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(720 ILCS 5/9-2)
(from Ch. 38, par. 9-2)
Second degree murder.
(a) A person commits the offense of second degree murder when he or she commits
the offense of first degree murder as defined in paragraph (1) or (2) of
subsection (a) of Section 9-1 of this Code and either of the following
mitigating factors are present:
(1) at the time of the killing he or she is acting
under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by the individual killed or another whom the offender endeavors to kill, but he or she negligently or accidentally causes the death of the individual killed; or
(2) at the time of the killing he or she believes the
circumstances to be such that, if they existed, would justify or exonerate the killing under the principles stated in Article 7 of this Code, but his or her belief is unreasonable.
(b) Serious provocation is conduct sufficient to excite an intense
passion in a reasonable person.
(c) When evidence of
either of the mitigating factors defined in subsection (a) of this Section
has been presented, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove either
mitigating factor by a preponderance of the evidence before the defendant
can be found guilty of second degree murder. The burden of proof, however,
remains on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the
elements of first degree murder and, when appropriately raised, the absence
of circumstances at the time of the killing that would justify or exonerate
the killing under the principles stated in Article 7 of this Code.
(d) Sentence. Second degree murder is a Class 1 felony.
(Source: P.A. 96-710, eff. 1-1-10.)