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Voluntary manslaughter is an unlawful killing of a human being without malice 'upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.' (Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (a).) In People v. Lee (1999) 20 Cal.4th 47, 59 [82 Cal. Rptr. 2d 625, 971 P.2d 1001], the court explained: 'Although [Penal Code] section 192, subdivision (a), refers to 'sudden quarrel or heat of passion,' the factor which distinguishes the 'heat of passion' form of voluntary manslaughter from murder is provocation. The provocation which incites the defendant to homicidal conduct in the heat of passion must be caused by the victim [citation], or be conduct reasonably believed by the defendant to have been engaged in by the victim. [Citations.] The provocative conduct by the victim may be physical or verbal, but the conduct must be sufficiently provocative that it would cause an ordinary person of average disposition to act rashly or without due deliberation and reflection. [Citations.]' The test for adequate provocation is objective. (Id. at p. 60.) 


'A provocation of slight and trifling character, such as words of reproach, however grievous they may be, or gestures, or an assault, or even a blow, is not recognized as sufficient ...

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