- diminished responsibility
or diminished capacityIn law, doctrine that absolves an accused person of part of the liability for his criminal act if he suffers from such abnormality of mind as to substantially impair his responsibility in committing or being a party to an alleged violation.The doctrine provides a mitigating defense in cases in which the mental disease or defect is not of such magnitude as to exclude criminal responsibility altogether. Diminished responsibility is most frequently asserted as a defense to murder charges that require proof of a particular mental state (e.g., premeditation). If diminished responsibility is shown, negating an element of the crime with which a defendant is charged, the defendant can be convicted only of a lesser offense that does not include the element. Although diminished responsibility is recognized as a defense in Britain, most other countries recognize only mental disease or abnormality of sufficient degree to sustain a defense of insanity.
* * *▪ lawlegal doctrine that absolves an accused person of part of the liability for his criminal act if he suffers from such abnormality of mind as to substantially impair his responsibility in committing or being a party to an alleged violation. The doctrine of diminished responsibility provides a mitigating defense in cases in which the mental disease or defect is not of such magnitude as to exclude criminal responsibility altogether.It is most frequently asserted in connection with murder cases requiring proof of a particular mental state on the part of the accused. If a judge or jury concludes that the accused is incapable of premeditation yet has the capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his behaviour to the requirements of the law, the court can bring a less serious penalty to bear. Generally, the defendant who successfully establishes his abnormal mental condition is found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.Few jurisdictions subscribe to the doctrine of diminished responsibility. Although long a part of Scottish homicide law, England and Wales did not adopt the defense until 1957. Most other countries recognize only mental disease or defect of sufficient degree to sustain a defense of insanity. See also insanity.
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diminished responsibility — noun Limitation in law of criminal responsibility on the grounds of mental weakness or abnormality, not merely of actual insanity • • • Main Entry: ↑diminish * * * diminished responsibility UK US noun [uncountable] legal a situation in which… … Useful english dictionary
diminished responsibility — in criminal law an aberration of mind, close to but not actually amounting to insanity, that is caused by mental illness. The defence in Scotland applies only to murder and attempted murder. It is construed a little wider in England where it… … Law dictionary
Diminished responsibility — For other types of responsibility, see Responsibility (disambiguation). Criminal defenses … Wikipedia
diminished responsibility — N UNCOUNT In law, diminished responsibility is a defence which states that someone is not mentally well enough to be totally responsible for their crime. Borland was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished… … English dictionary
diminished responsibility — a suggestion of temporary insanity A defence seized on by lawyers when the accused has no other: P , 23, of Newcastle upon Tyne, denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibilty. (Daily… … How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms
diminished responsibility — limited responsibility, partial legal liability, legal liability with stipulations … English contemporary dictionary
diminished responsibility — /dəˌmɪnɪʃt rəspɒnsəˈbɪləti/ (say duh.minisht ruhsponsuh biluhtee) noun limitation of a person s criminal responsibility in killing or being a party to the killing of another on the ground of mental weakness or abnormality; not available as a… … Australian English dictionary
diminished responsibility — di.minished responsi bility also di.minished ca pacity AmE n [U] law when someone is not considered to be responsible for their actions because they are mentally ill … Dictionary of contemporary English
diminished responsibility — di,minished responsi bility or di,minished ca pacity noun uncount LEGAL a situation in which someone cannot be considered responsible for a crime because they are mentally ill … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
diminished responsibility — noun English Law an unbalanced mental state which is recognized as grounds to reduce a charge of murder to that of manslaughter … English new terms dictionary