Dimished responsibilty

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Diminished Responsibilty-

- this is a partial and special defence it is special because, it is avaliable to a conviction of murder and it is partial because, it doesn't lead to acquittal just liabilty being reduced to voluntary manslaughter.

-It is governed by S2(1) of the Homicide Act (1957).Before the Homiceide Act (1957) 40% of murder trials resulted in a pleas of insanity. now most defendants will opt for dimsihed responsibilty. this is illustrated in the case of R v Prince (1971) where the defendant secured the defence of dimished responsibilty as it was stated this defence was avalible in cases of mercy killing where the D was suffering from depression. if it was before the Homide Act (1957) then the defendant would not have secured the defence of insanity.

The elements of dimished responsibilty are-

-Abnormality of the mind.

- induced by injury

-induced by disease

-a condition of mental or retarded developement which substantially impairs D's mental responsibilty.

- any inherent cause


- this was defined int eh case of R v Byrne (1960)- as an abnormaltiy of the mind is a state of mind so different from the state of a normal human being that a normal person would class it be abnormal.

-For psycotic defendants such as Byrne sexual impulses do not ahve to be irresistable, the D just can't stop it becasue it…


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