Brief Fact Summary. Appellant was precluded from offering evidence of diminished capacity for the crime of theft.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Diminished capacity is not a defense for general intent crimes.
Issue. Whether the defense of diminished capacity should be extended so that it is also an absolute defense to a general intent crime
Held. Affirmed, the defense of diminished capacity should not be extended to general intent crimes.
Diminished capacity permits proof of a defendant’s mental capacity on the issue of a defendant’s capacity to form a specific intent in those instances in which the State must prove defendant’s specific intent as an element of the crime charged.
Diminished capacity as a defense is different from the defense of insanity on the ground it allows evidence of mental unsoundness establishing lack of capacity to form a requisite criminal intent rather than requiring proof of a more aggravated kind of thinking required for the absolute defense of insanity.
General intent exists when from the circumstances the prohibited result may reasonably be expected to follow from the offender's voluntary act, irrespective of any subjective desire to have accomplished such result.View Full Point of Law