Diminished responsibility

diminished capacitycapacity for rational thought had been diminishedDiminished capacity in United States lawnot criminally responsibledefensediminishdiminisheddiminished-capacity defensepartly responsible
In criminal law, diminished responsibility (or diminished capacity) is a potential defense by excuse by which defendants argue that although they broke the law, they should not be held fully criminally liable for doing so, as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired.wikipedia
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Murder

first-degree murderfirst degree murdersecond-degree murder
In a series of decisions, given mainly by Lord Deas, a doctrine grew that various types of mental weakness could have the effect of reducing what would otherwise be a conviction for murder (which attracted capital punishment) to one for culpable homicide (where the courts had greater discretion in sentencing). While White's defense team did argue successfully for a ruling of diminished capacity, resulting in a verdict of voluntary manslaughter rather than murder, an urban legend that the defense had blamed White's actions on the ingestion of sugar and junk food (the so-called "Twinkie defense") sprang up out of inaccurate media coverage.
Manslaughter is a killing committed in the absence of malice, brought about by reasonable provocation, or diminished capacity.

Insanity defense

not guilty by reason of insanityinsanitycriminally insane
This is an aspect of a more general insanity defense (see the M'Naghten rules).
Mitigating factors, including things not eligible for the insanity defense such as intoxication (or, more frequently, diminished capacity), may lead to reduced charges or reduced sentences.

Criminal law

criminalcriminal casepenal law
In criminal law, diminished responsibility (or diminished capacity) is a potential defense by excuse by which defendants argue that although they broke the law, they should not be held fully criminally liable for doing so, as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired.
Manslaughter (Culpable Homicide in Scotland) is a lesser variety of killing committed in the absence of malice, brought about by reasonable provocation, or diminished capacity.

Irresistible impulse

irresistible impulse test
The majority of states have adopted it by statute or case decision, and a minority even recognise broader defenses such as "irresistible impulse".
The Penal Code of the U.S. state of California states (2002), "The defense of diminished capacity is hereby abolished ... there shall be no defense of ... diminished responsibility or irresistible impulse..."

M'Naghten rules

M'Naghten ruleinsanityM'Naghten standard
This is an aspect of a more general insanity defense (see the M'Naghten rules).
However, this will normally only arise to negate the defence case when automatism or diminished responsibility is in issue.

2000 Dharmapuri bus burning

burnt alive in a bus in Dharmapuri
Supreme Court of India bench headed by Justice Gogoi in a review petition upheld the principle of Diminished responsibility in the 2000 Dharmapuri bus burning and commuted to life imprisonment the death penalty given by the Salem district court and upheld by the Madras High Court and by another Supreme Court bench to three AIADMK party activists who had a set on fire a fully occupied bus with 44 girls and 2 lecturers of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University on an educational tour to protest Jayalalithaa's conviction in Pleasant Stay hotel case in this three college girls were burnt alive and 16 college girls suffered burn injuries were acting on mob frenzy and setting a legal precedent.
Although defense lawyer L. Nageswara Rao admitted that the three culprits took petrol from a workshop, set fire to the bus and killed the students, they were "in a state of mob frenzy" and his defense was based on diminished responsibility.

Moscone–Milk assassinations

assassinatedassassinations1978 assassinations
The doctrine would soon be abolished by ballot initiative in 1982 following the negative publicity surrounding the case of Dan White, who had killed George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
The verdict sparked the "White Night riots" in San Francisco, and led to the state of California abolishing the diminished capacity criminal defense.

Intoxication defense

intoxicationdrunkennessintoxication defence
In criminal law, the intoxication defense is a defense by which a defendant may claim diminished responsibility on the basis of substance intoxication.

Twinkie defense

psychiatric testimonyTwinkies were not claimed as a cause of Dan White's murder
While White's defense team did argue successfully for a ruling of diminished capacity, resulting in a verdict of voluntary manslaughter rather than murder, an urban legend that the defense had blamed White's actions on the ingestion of sugar and junk food (the so-called "Twinkie defense") sprang up out of inaccurate media coverage.
White's defense was that he suffered diminished capacity as a result of his depression.

Dan White

disgruntled coworker
The doctrine would soon be abolished by ballot initiative in 1982 following the negative publicity surrounding the case of Dan White, who had killed George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
At the trial, White's defense team argued that his mental state at the time of the killings was one of diminished capacity due to depression.

Settled insanity

Although voluntary intoxication is not considered an excuse for a criminal act, if it can be shown that the defendant was too intoxicated to deliberate or premeditate the wrongful act, (lacking malice aforethought), a defense of diminished capacity, while not excusing the defendant from responsibility for the act, can serve to reduce the charges.

United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Federal Sentencing GuidelinesU.S. Sentencing GuidelinesUnited States Sentencing Guidelines
The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines provide, "A downward departure may be warranted if (1) the defendant committed the offense while suffering from a significantly reduced mental capacity; and (2) the significantly reduced mental capacity contributed substantially to the commission of the offense."
*Diminished capacity (§5K2.13)

Defense (legal)

defensedefencedefence counsel
In criminal law, diminished responsibility (or diminished capacity) is a potential defense by excuse by which defendants argue that although they broke the law, they should not be held fully criminally liable for doing so, as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired.

Excuse

exculpationExcuse (legal)justification
In criminal law, diminished responsibility (or diminished capacity) is a potential defense by excuse by which defendants argue that although they broke the law, they should not be held fully criminally liable for doing so, as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired.

Defendant

defendantscriminal defendantco-defendant
In criminal law, diminished responsibility (or diminished capacity) is a potential defense by excuse by which defendants argue that although they broke the law, they should not be held fully criminally liable for doing so, as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired.

Law

legallawslegal theory
In criminal law, diminished responsibility (or diminished capacity) is a potential defense by excuse by which defendants argue that although they broke the law, they should not be held fully criminally liable for doing so, as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired.

Crime

criminalcriminalscriminal offence
In criminal law, diminished responsibility (or diminished capacity) is a potential defense by excuse by which defendants argue that although they broke the law, they should not be held fully criminally liable for doing so, as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired.

Legal liability

liabilityliablecivil liability
In criminal law, diminished responsibility (or diminished capacity) is a potential defense by excuse by which defendants argue that although they broke the law, they should not be held fully criminally liable for doing so, as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired.

Felony murder rule

felony murderfelony-murder rulefelonious shooting
For example, if the felony murder rule does not apply, first degree murder requires that the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted with premeditation, deliberation and the specific intent to kill—all three are necessary elements of the state's case.

Repeal

repealedabrogatedabrogation
The case was recently abrogated, however, by enactment of the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006, effective June 1, 2006.

Trial of Lunatics Act 1883

guilty but insane
As noted a successful insanity defense will result in acquittal although a number of jurisdictions have adopted the guilty but insane verdict.

Scotland

Scottish🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Scots
The defense "was first recognized by Scottish common law to reduce the punishment of the partially insane."

Common law

common-lawcourts of common lawcommon
The defense "was first recognized by Scottish common law to reduce the punishment of the partially insane."

Punishment

punitivepunishpunishments
The defense "was first recognized by Scottish common law to reduce the punishment of the partially insane."

Capital punishment

death penaltyexecutionexecuted
In a series of decisions, given mainly by Lord Deas, a doctrine grew that various types of mental weakness could have the effect of reducing what would otherwise be a conviction for murder (which attracted capital punishment) to one for culpable homicide (where the courts had greater discretion in sentencing).