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Should diminished capacity be a factor in holding one responsible for his actions?
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Diminished Responsibility
Started by: Adam_PoE

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Adam_PoE
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Diminished Responsibility

Diminished responsibility is a defense sometimes offered in criminal cases that refers to a condition of arrested or retarded development of mind, whether inherent or caused by disease or injury, that substantially impairs a person's mental responsibility for his acts or omissions. It is also referred to as diminished capacity.

The diminished capacity plea is based in the belief that certain people, because of mental impairment or disease, are simply incapable of possessing the mental state required to commit a certain crime. If diminished responsibility is proven, it may negate an element of the crime, such as pre-mediation, with which a defendant is charged, so that the defendant can be convicted only of a lesser offense.

What do you think: Should diminished capacity be a factor in holding one responsible for his actions?


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Last edited by Adam_PoE on Nov 9th, 2017 at 03:56 AM

Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 03:54 AM
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Scribble
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Entirely, yes. Someone with a condition such as dissociative personality disorder committing a murder is very different to someone devoid of proper emotions choosing to kill someone. The former, I believe, should never warrant execution, as their condition could be the primary factor as to why they committed the act: driven to kill by some paranoid or otherwise untoward impulse. The other case, killing someone just for fun/in the act of another crime, shows a cruelty behind the killing, and puts it in an entirely different light; in a case such as this, I can see why execution could be suggested, despite being against the death penalty as a rule.

Either way the person should be locked up due to the danger they pose to society, of course. I don't think diminished responsibility is by nature something that should allow a defendant to receive less harsh of a punishment, though. If they're someone with a learning disability, and they were pressured or coerced into the crime, then that could be seen as a situation where they have potential to be a model citizen after their punishment and, hopefully, rehabilitation (something the prison system needs to focus more on to be entirely effective). But if they are dangerous due to the nature of their mental illness and could snap at any time, then the danger posed to society is too high.

So imo, "diminished responsibility" is most important when dealing with murder cases in areas of the world that utilise capital punishment, as it seems barbaric to execute someone who is mentally ill due to actions that they did not have full control over. Of course protecting society is of the utmost importance, but not at the expense of decency and care, even for those who are driven by one means or another to create great harm.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 04:37 AM
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dadudemon
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I don't understand why this is a thread. Did something come up recently in the legal system?

I think the answer is obviously yes but it needs to be on a case by case basis. You could have an IQ of 70 but fully know that raping and murdering is wrong. Unless we are going to pretend that tens of millions of Africans are too mentally handicap to know that killing and murdering are wrong?


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 03:02 PM
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cdtm
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As a means of "getting off the hook", no.

Someone like that might not deserve the "punishment" of prison, but I'd argue they're as dangerous as anyone who knowingly commits a crime. With the twist that they're incapable of being deterred by the consequences of their actions.

So yes, only if there's a mechanism to protect society from them.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 03:09 PM
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Bashar Teg
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absolutely i think that should remain a factor in justice. sure it will be abused by opportunistic lawyers, but it does prevent a lot of injustices.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 03:13 PM
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Surtur
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If someone committed a crime due to mental retardation, like say...murder? Okay, no prison.

But yep: rest of their life in a mental institution. I don't care where you put them, they just don't walk free, ever.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 04:47 PM
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Stigma
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Yes. /thread


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 05:16 PM
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Robtard
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Oh yeah, can't hold the retarded and/or insane responsibly on the same level in regards to sentencing, but it should never be a 'freepass' excuse.

I'd also hope that it would need to be proven** beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal is indeed in a state or diminished mental capabilities in regards to the given crime, as I see this easily abused by unscrupulous lawyers. Or scumbags pretending as such to shed responsibility for their actions.

**Cases where a 'temporary' state of such is used as a defense. Like the famous "Twinkie Defense", where the criminal received a lesser sentence. Not that legitimate temporary insanity can't happen, but that case was BS.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 05:31 PM
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Bashar Teg
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Robtard
but it should never be a 'freepass' excuse.


disagree in the case of psychotic/schizophrenic people, unless you consider psychiatric treatment to be a form of punishment.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 05:35 PM
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Stigma
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Robtard
Oh yeah, can't hold the retarded and/or insane responsibly on the same level in regards to sentencing, but it should never be a 'freepass' excuse.

thumb up


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 05:37 PM
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Robtard
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Bashar Teg
disagree in the case of psychotic/schizophrenic people, unless you consider psychiatric treatment to be a form of punishment.


I don't follow?

eg If a psychotic/schizophrenic killed someone, I don't think that's a freepass for murder, just that the sentencing needs to reflect on the person's insanity. So don't send them to prison for 50-to-life, send them to a high security mental ward until they're deemed safe, if ever


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 05:50 PM
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Bashar Teg
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Robtard
I don't follow?

eg If a psychotic/schizophrenic killed someone, I don't think that's a freepass for murder, just that the sentencing needs to reflect on the person's insanity. So don't send them to prison for 50-to-life, send them to a high security mental ward until they're deemed safe, if ever


prison is a form of punishment, even though it's meant to be rehabilitative. psychiatric treatment is just that. treatment.

so if someone has a psychotic delusion and kills someone, believing that they were satan or some alien invader, there was no intent at all to kill an innocent person. you can't hold someone accountable for that, nor can you apply a term to time spent in the psych ward. people stay until their doctor feels they are ready to rejoin society. so yes, they should just get a free pass in terms of facing penalty, but should not be allowed to exist in public unless/until they are deemed fit to do so.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 05:58 PM
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Robtard
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Bashar Teg
prison is a form of punishment, even though it's meant to be rehabilitative. psychiatric treatment is just that. treatment.

so if someone has a psychotic delusion and kills someone, believing that they were satan or some alien invader, there was no intent at all to kill an innocent person. you can't hold someone accountable for that, nor can you apply a term to time spent in the psych ward. people stay until their doctor feels they are ready to rejoin society. so yes, they should just get a free pass in terms of facing penalty, but should not be allowed to exist in public unless/until they are deemed fit to do so.


I think prison is supposed to be both a form of punishment and rehabilitation.

I think we're arguing the same thing and it's a semantics thing now?


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 06:00 PM
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Bashar Teg
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Robtard
I think prison is supposed to be both a form of punishment and rehabilitation.

I think we're arguing the same thing and it's a semantics thing now?


right it's SUPPOSED to be, but there is an obvious penalty applied. if not, then prisoners would just be set free whenever they appear to be ready, whether that be one month or 20 years, as opposed to having to wait for parole after a certain amount of time served. that's not how it works for psych patients. maybe we are in an agreement standoff, but i can't tell for sure.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 06:04 PM
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Robtard
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I don't have an issue with your thoughts in regards to how insane criminals should be processed, as it follows what I said, so we are in agreement imo.

"but should not be allowed to exist in public unless/until they are deemed fit to do so." -you


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 06:06 PM
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Steve Zodiac
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Thing is, and it's a trope for stories for a reason, anyone can be triggered and lose the plot given the right circumstances for them. Much of those circumstances are generic and will affect almost anyone. Diminished responsibility in the UK often means a person has become triggered. E.g. lost access to a child, been cheated on etc.


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 06:09 PM
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Bashar Teg
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Steve Zodiac
Thing is, and it's a trope for stories for a reason, anyone can be triggered and lose the plot given the right circumstances for them. Much of those circumstances are generic and will affect almost anyone. Diminished responsibility in the UK often means a person has become triggered. E.g. lost access to a child, been cheated on etc.

that's where it gets muddy. some people are triggered because they got flipped off while driving on the highway. some get triggered when seeing an opinion they don't like. tough to know where to draw the line with personal responsibility when dealing with clinically sane people succumbing to their impulses.


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Your Lord knows very well what is in your heart. Your soul suffices this day as a reckoner against you. I need no witnesses. You do not listen to your soul, but listen instead to your anger and your rage.

Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 06:14 PM
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Bashar Teg
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Robtard
I don't have an issue with your thoughts in regards to how insane criminals should be processed, as it follows what I said, so we are in agreement imo.

"but should not be allowed to exist in public unless/until they are deemed fit to do so." -you


as long as you don't feel that set terms should be enforced on mental patients (being sentenced to 15 years at a hospital, for example), we probably do agree.


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Your Lord knows very well what is in your heart. Your soul suffices this day as a reckoner against you. I need no witnesses. You do not listen to your soul, but listen instead to your anger and your rage.

Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 06:15 PM
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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 06:16 PM
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Steve Zodiac
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Bashar Teg
that's where it gets muddy. some people are triggered because they got flipped off while driving on the highway. some get triggered when seeing an opinion they don't like. tough to know where to draw the line with personal responsibility when dealing with clinically sane people succumbing to their impulses.
It can also be a combination of things, for instance, imagine the person has no job, is disabled has a drug and alcohol problem and has been cheated on... They lose the plot when their dealer doesn't bring them dope to calm them in time and stab him up due to paranoia caused by overuse of skunk. Poor sod has issues man!


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Old Post Nov 9th, 2017 06:18 PM
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