Diminished capacity, Glossary and Terms, Attorney's office, Personal Lawyer

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"Diminished capacity"

A mitigating defense used to establish the absence of malice by the defendant when he or she committed the violent act. It is not considered a form of insanity but rather a suspended mental state where passion and emotional stress dominated the defendants actions and thoughts such that he or she could not act rationally or be aware of the reasonable consequences of his or her actions. Many states no longer permit this defense.

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