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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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Afro Cheese
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Re: Diminished Responsibility

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Originally posted by Adam_PoE
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?
See this sort of reminds me of the arguments over free will/neurology and criminal justice. The idea is basically as we continue to have an increased understanding of the brain, we may find ourselves in a position where most criminals are predictable based on their neurology and thus the moral culpability for their crimes comes into question.

My thing is, I think of prison not just as punishment but as a place for dangerous people. If a person is dangerous because of diminished capacity or whatever it is, then I don't want them on the streets. If it is a temporary state or something that can be cured, then I'm more open to that. But like most people I am somewhat nervous about the implications of that/how far we're gonna take that line of thinking.

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