Diminished responsibility

I read an article yesterday about a 15-year-old boy who allegedly beat to death a toddler girl.  A harrowing tale in which the child suffered 68 separate injuries.  Below is an excerpt from the BBC’s article.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, denies murder. The defence will say he suffered an abnormality of mind which impaired his responsibility.

Surely almost all murders require some form of mind abnormality.  And given this, I often wonder about why such a defence can be used in an attempt to reduce the resulting sentence.

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