Diminished Capacity

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Diminished Capacity

Meaning of Diminished Capacity

In criminal law, the term is used to refer to lack of capacity to achieve that state of mind requisite for commission of crime . A defense which is short of legal insanity . See Com. v Wa/zack, 360 A.2d 914, 468 Pa. 210.

Related Entries of Diminished Capacity in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Diminished Capacity in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Diminished Capacity in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Diminished Capacity in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Diminished Capacity in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

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See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Excuse: Theory; Excuse: Insanity; Excuse: Intoxication; Mens Rea; Mentally Disordered Offenders.
  • Related Case Law

    People v. White, 172 Cal. Rptr. 612 (App. 1981).

    Further Reading

    American Law Institute. Model Penal Code. Philadelphia: American Law Institute, 1962.

    Arenella, Peter. “The Diminished Capacity and Diminished Responsibility Defenses: Two Children of a Doomed Marriage.” Columbia Law Review 77 (1977): 827-865.

    Dressler, Joshua. “Reaffirming the Moral Legitimacy of the Doctrine of Diminished Capacity: A Brief Reply to Professor Morse.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 75 (1984): 953-962.

    Fingarette, Herbert, and Hasse, Ann Fingarette. Mental Disabilities and Criminal Responsibility. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1979.

    Horder, Jeremy. Provocation and Responsibility. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1992.

    Mackay, R. D. Mental Condition Defenses in the Criminal Law. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1995.

    Morse, Stephen J. “Diminished Capacity: A Moral and Legal Conundrum.” International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 2 (1979): 271-298.

    . “Undiminished Confusion in Diminished Capacity.” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 75 (1984): 1-55.

    . “Diminished Capacity.” In Action and Value in Criminal Law. Edited by Stephen Shute, John Gardner, and Jeremy Horder. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1993. Pages 239-278.

    . “Excusing and the New Excuse Defenses: A Legal and Conceptual Review.” In Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Volume 23. Edited by Michael Tonry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. Pages 329-406.

    Smith, John C. Smith & Hogan: Criminal Law, 9th ed. London: Butterworths, 1999.

    Yeo, Stanley M. H., ed. Partial Excuses to Murder. Sydney, Australia: The Federation Press, 1990.

    Walker, Nigel. Crime and Insanity in England: One: The Historical Perspective. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1968.






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