Mitigating Circumstances

ART.13

MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES – those which if present in the commission of the crime reduces the penalty of the crime but does not erase criminal liability nor change the nature of the crime.

NOTE: A mitigating circumstance arising from a single fact absorbs all the other mitigating circumstances arising from that same fact.

Par. 1 Incomplete Justifying or Exempting Circumstances

NOTE: This applies when not all the requisites are present. If two requisites are present, it is considered a privileged mitigating circumstance. However, in reference to Art.11(4) if any of the last two requisites is absent, there is only an ordinary mitigating circumstance. Remember though, that in self-defense, defense of relative or stranger, unlawful aggression must always be present as it is an indispensable requirement

Par. 2 Under 18 or Over 70 Years Old

NOTE: Age of accused is determined by his age at the date of commission of crime, not date of trial.

Par. 3 No Intention to Commit so Grave a Wrong

NOTE: Can be used only when the proven facts show that there is a notable and evident disproportion between the means employed to execute the criminal act and its consequences.

Factors that can be considered are:
1. weapon used
2. injury inflicted
3. part of the body injured
4. mindset of offender at the time of commission of crime

This provision addresses the intention of the offender at the particular moment when the offender executes or commits the criminal act, not to his intention during the planning stage

NOTE: In crimes against persons – if victim does not die, the absence of the intent to kill reduces the felony to mere physical injuries. It is not considered as mitigating. It is mitigating only when the victim dies.

NOTE: It is not applicable to felonies by negligence because in felonies through negligence, the offender acts without intent. The intent in intentional felonies is replaced by negligence or imprudence. There is no intent on the part of the offender, which may be considered as diminished

Par. 4 Provocation or Threat

Provocation – any unjust or improper conduct or act of the offended party, capable of exciting, inciting or irritating anyone.

Requisites:
1. provocation must be sufficient
2. it must originate from the offended party
3. must be immediate to the commission of the crime by the person who is provoked

NOTE: Threat should not be offensive and positively strong. Otherwise, it would be an unlawful aggression, which may give rise to self-defense and thus no longer a mitigating circumstance.

Par. 5 Vindication of Grave Offense

Requisites:
1. a grave offense done to the one committing the felony, his spouse, ascendants, descendants, legitimate, natural or adopted brothers or sisters or relatives by affinity within the same degrees
2. the felony is committed in immediate vindication of such grave offense

NOTE: “Immediate” allows for a lapse of time, as long as the offender is still suffering from the mental agony brought about by the offense to him. (proximate time, not just immediately after)

Par. 6 Passion or Obfuscation

Requisites:
1. offender acted upon an impulse
2. the impulse must be so powerful that it naturally produced passion or obfuscation in him

NOTE: Act must have been committed not in the spirit of lawlessness or revenge; act must come from lawful sentiments.

Act, Which Gave Rise To Passion And Obfuscation:
1. That there be an act, both unlawful and unjust
2. The act be sufficient to produce a condition of mind
3. That the act was proximate to the criminal act, not admitting of time during which the perpetrator might recover his normal equanimity
4. The victim must be the one who caused the passion or obfuscation

NOTE: Passion and obfuscation cannot co-exist with treachery since this means that the offender had time to ponder his course of action.

Passion or Obfuscation from Irresistable Force
1. Passion or obfuscation is mitigating while Irresistable force is exempting
2. Passion or Obfuscation, no physical force needed while irresistable force requires physical force.
3. Passion and Obfuscation must come from the offender himself while Irresistable Force must come from 3rd peson
4. Paasion or Obfuscation must come from lawful sentiments while Irresistable force is unlawful.

Par. 7 Surrender and Confession of Guilt

WHEN SURRENDER VOLUNTARY
- must be spontaneous, showing the intent of the accused to submit himself unconditionally to the authorities, either because:
1. he acknowledges his guilt; or
2. he wishes to save them the trouble and expense necessarily incurred in his search and capture.

NOTE: If both are present, considered as two independent mitigating circumstances. Further mitigates penalty

NOTES:
Plea made after arraignment and after trial has begun does not entitle accused to the mitigating circumstance.

If accused pleaded not guilty, even if during arraignment, he is entitled to mitigating circumstance as long as he withdraws his plea of not guilty to the charge before the fiscal could present his evidence.

Plea to a lesser charge is not a Mitigating Circumstance because to be such, the plea of guilt must be to the offense charged.

Plea to the offense charged in the amended info, lesser than that charged in the original info, is Mitigating Circumstance.

Par. 8 Physical Defect of Offender

The offender is deaf and dumb, blind or otherwise suffering from some physical defect, restricting his means of action, defense or communication with others.

NOTE: The physical defect must relate to the offense committed.

Par. 9 Illness of the Offender

Requisites:
1. The illness of the offender must diminish the exercise of his will-power.
2. Such illness should not deprive the offender of consciousness of his acts.

Par. 10 Similar and Analogous Circumstances

Example:
1. Defendant who is 60 years old with failing eyesight is similar to a case of one over 70 years old.
2. Outraged feeling of an owner of an animal taken for ransom is analogous to vindication of grave offense.
3. Impulse of jealous feeling, similar to passion and obfuscation.
4. Voluntary restitution of property, similar to voluntary surrender.
5. Extreme poverty, similar to incomplete justification based on state necessity.

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