Lack of premeditation
When the accused fires only a single shot in a sudden occurrence crime, life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence.
When an offence arises out of an occurrence taking place at the spur of the moment without any premeditation, a death sentence is not justified.
The death penalty should not be awarded where there is a lack of premeditation and motive is unproven. The Supreme Court considers a single shot fired as evidence of lack of premeditation.
The death penalty should not be awarded where the accused lacked premeditation and provocation was established
Grave and sudden provocation may be a mitigating factor despite it not being available as a plea under the law. In establishing provocation, specific cultural practices/traditions may be considered.