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Diminished Responsibility
A second special defence for murder, reducing the conviction to voluntary manslaughter is DR
(Diminished responsibility) as defined in Homicide Act 1957. This statutory defence provides a
possible defence for someone who did not know what they were doing and possibly even that it
was wrong but was…

Page 2

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Which substantially impairs mental responsibility.

The abnormality of mind must have substantially impaired the defendant's mental
responsibility for his or her acts or omissions ­ matter to be decided by the jury. The use of the
word substantial indicates that the impairment need not be absolute, so the defendant is…

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