Mitigation of Punishment Law and Legal Definition

Mitigation of punishment refers to the reduction in the severity of a sentence due to the existence of mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances reduce the degree of moral culpability. Mitigation of punishment is based on a court's discretion. Factors that are taken into consideration for mitigating punishment are: convicted person’s character, behavior, his/her background, and cooperation with officials.

The following is an example of a state law (Kansas) referring to mitigation of punishment.

According to K.S.A. § 22-3424, before imposing sentence the court shall: address the defendant personally and ask the defendant if the defendant wishes to make a statement on the defendant's own behalf and to present any evidence in mitigation of punishment.