Mitigating circumstances

Definition

Factors that lessen the severity or culpability of a criminal act, including, but not limited to, defendant's age or extreme mental or emotional disturbance at the time the crime was committed, mental retardation, and lack of a prior criminal record. Recognition of particular mitigating circumstances varies by jurisdiction. 

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Magwood v. Patterson, 130 S.Ct. 2788 (2010).

See also