Mitigating Circumstances

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Mitigating Circumstances

 

(circumstances mitigating responsibility), in criminal law, circumstances attending the commission of a crime and indicating that a particular criminal act or the criminal himself is less socially dangerous than would be the case if such circumstances had not existed.

A distinction is made between mitigating circumstances that are an inseparable element of a crime and those that are not an element of a specific crime. Examples of the former are seen in the instance of a murder that takes place when the bounds of necessary defense are exceeded or in that of a premeditated murder that is committed in a state of severe mental agitation. Examples of the latter, listed in the Criminal Code of the RSFSR (art. 38), include prevention by the guilty person of harmful consequences of the crime committed and commission of the crime under the influence of a threat or compulsion.

The types of mitigating circumstances listed in the law are only intended to be examples. The court may in each specific instance recognize as mitigating circumstances other circumstances revealed during proceedings, such as irreproachable conduct of the accused in the past, military or work honors, or serious illness.

If the criminal law sanctions alternatives, then the presence of mitigating circumstances may serve as grounds for assigning the guilty person a milder punishment from among those indicated by the law, such as correctional labor instead of deprivation of freedom, or for applying a punishment that is shorter in duration. The guilty person may even be assigned a different, milder punishment than that provided by law or assigned a punishment below the statutory minimum set as the approved norm in the criminal law.

The presence of mitigating circumstances may in some cases serve as grounds for releasing the guilty person from criminal responsibility, the case then being transferred to a comrades’ court or the guilty person released on surety.

References in periodicals archive ?
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: "The trauma of sexual violence is immeasurable and I worry that universities are not being clear in the extenuating circumstances for students.
A clearly-worded clause in the code of practice on extenuating circumstances would confirm that students are able to seek academic support from a welfare or personal tutor, ensuring their academic performance will not suffer while they begin their recovery.
Mr Morris said the majority of appeals involved students who experienced extenuating circumstances during exam and coursework periods, such as a bereavement.
The company added that those with extenuating circumstances may be eligible for a new loan in a shorter time frame.
Fannie Mae stressed that the mortgage servicers from the failed mortgage would have to document those problems and extenuating circumstances and that the burden would be on the borrower to have that documentation for the new mortgage application.
Even by taking into the account some extenuating circumstances for Branko Crvenkovski, now the duty for clarifying the unjust privatization falls on the shoulders of the present authority.
In its statement, Dorel pointed out the extenuating circumstances of the infant's death.
This is a clear case for extenuating circumstances.
Addressing at the launching ceremony of the web portal, Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq, Director Roots School System e-learning Program said The goal of the portal is to provide resources that our students could actually use to supplement their learning while at home and provide for self and home study guided learning opportunities in parental and self supervision to catch up with lost teaching and learning hours at school in extenuating circumstances.
Addressing at the launching ceremony of the web portal, Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq, Director Roots School System e-learning Program said "The goal of the portal is to provide resources that our students could actually use to supplement their learning while at home and provide for self and home study guided learning opportunities in parental and self supervision to catch up with lost teaching and learning hours at school in extenuating circumstances.
The judge freed Kenneth Blight, 51, saying there were exceptional and extenuating circumstances.
Unite national officer for health Karen Reay stated: 'There appear to be a number of extenuating circumstances in the case of Margaret Haywood, and the NMC could have imposed a lesser punishment.