The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Lack of ability to comprehend the nature of a crime one has committed or to restrain oneself from committing a crime.
diminished capacity - Legal Definition
Webster's New World Law Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
An alteration to a defendant’s mental state, a reduced ability to understand, usually the result of mental retardation, alcohol or drug intoxication, or some other factor, which exists at the time of the commission of a crime, not sufficient to support an insanity defense, but that raises the issue of whether the defendant was able to form the intent to commit the crime. Typically offered as a defense in partial mitigation to obtain conviction on a lesser included charge or to receive a lesser sentence.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.