Diminished responsibilities

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  • Created by: Lizzie
  • Created on: 13-04-14 12:02
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  • Diminished Responsibility
    • Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (s52)
      • Originally set out in s2 Homicide Act 1957
        • Where successful the defense reduces a murder conviction to manslaughter
    • Requirements
      • Abnormality of mental functioning caused by a recognized medical condition
        • Medical evidence is provided in court and it will be up to the jury to decide whether the D is in fact suffering from that condition
          • this is because medical evidence is an opinion so the jury need not necessarily follow it
          • with new conditions there may be dispute within the proffession
        • the test is- would a reasonable man consider the mental functioning to be abnormal?
        • Alcohol and drugs
          • disease such as alcoholism and drug addiction are included but impairments simply due to the consumption of alcohol are not.
          • Tandy- alcoholic who strangled her daughter
          • Gittens- killed wife and step-daughter depression with alcohol and drugs
          • Dietschmann- adjustment disorder and voluntary drinking
      • this abnormality must substantially impair the D's ability to either...
        • a) understand the nature of D's conduct
        • b) form a rational judgement
        • Exercise self control
        • definition of substantial (Lloyd)- "does not mean total... doesn't mean trivial or minimal. It is something inbetween"
      • this must provide an explanation for D's conduct. Is there a connection to the killing?
        • was the medical condition the reason for the killing or was it a significant contributing factor?
        • Burden of proof is on D to prove he was suffering from DR
          • Balance of probabilities- 51% sure D was suffering from DR
          • Prosecution have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that it has not been established

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