Alleviation; abatement or diminution of a penalty or punishment im- posed by law. “Mitigating circumstances” are such as do not constitute a justification or excuse of the offense in question, but which, in fairness and mercy, may be considered as extenuating or reducing the degree of moral culpability. See Heaton v. Wright, 10 How. Prac. (N. Y.) 82; Wandell v. Edwards. 25 Hun (N. Y.) 500; Hess v. New York Press Co., 20 App. Div. 73, 49 N. Y. Supp. 894.

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