The Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) has determined that a California conviction for attempted voluntary manslaughter is a crime of violence aggravated felony, even though the completed offense of voluntary manslaughter is not. The Board noted that California courts have held that attempted voluntary manslaughter cannot be premised on the theory that a defendant acted with conscious disregard for life, because it would be based on the internally contradictory premise that one can intend to commit a reckless killing. Instead, a person who commits attempted voluntary manslaughter must act with the specific intent to kill another person. The specific intent to kill, in turn, necessarily involves the volitional use of force. Thus, the attempt crime does not suffer form the same overbreadth with respect to mens rea as the completed offense, which can entail reckless conduct.
The full text of Matter of Cervantes Nunez can be found here: