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Diminished Responsibility Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 4 page long Diminished Responsibility notes, which we sell as part of the Criminal Law Notes collection, a A package written at York College in 2015 that contains (approximately) 83 pages of notes across 41 different documents.

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Diminished Responsibility Revision

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Diminished responsibility

Background:









Concerns about mandatory death penalty for murder led to Homicide Act 1957 Public opinion was against death penalty High profile cases of Bentley and Ellis who it was felt deserved some defence High profile case of Evans who was wrongly hanged Needed some concession to human frailty Fairness Concerns over common law defence of insanity existed Alternative sentences were required for some murders Voluntary manslaughter was a new offence created by S1 Homicide Act Homicide Act said D charged with murder may have conviction substituted for voluntary manslaughter if they successfully plead diminished responsibility (s2) or provocation (s3)

Old law:


Contained in s2(1) of Homicide Act 1957 D had to be suffering from an abnormality of the mind Caused by specific causes which were o An inherent cause o Illness or injury o Arrested or retarded development Abnormality had to have substantially impaired D's mental responsibility for killing

AO2 in old law:

Unclear what elements, e.g. "substantially impaired", means - judge and jury decide what the words mean because Act did not define them o Vague o Courts tried to explain in Lloyd Words/ phrases such as "arrested or retarded" are out dated - legal, not medical, terminology

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