Sudden Passion Defense In a Murder Case Example In Texas

In Kreyssig v. State, 935 S.W.2d 886, 891 (Tex. App.-Texarkana 1996, pet. ref'd) a jury convicted Kreyssig of murder and assessed punishment at forty years' imprisonment. Id. at 887. Kreyssig contended on appeal that Section 19.02(d) violates the Due Process Clause because "it places the burden on him to raise the issue of whether he caused [the victim's] death under the influence of sudden passion and requires him to prove the fact by a preponderance of the evidence." Id. at 891. Relying on Barnes v. State, 876 S.W.2d 316 (Tex. Crim. App. 1994), court held it is not unconstitutional to require the defendant to prove mitigating circumstances by a preponderance of the evidence. court held in Kreyssig that Section 19.02(d) allows a jury's finding of sudden passion to mitigate the punishment for intentional homicide and that as such the statute is not unconstitutional.