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Gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp

Jacobsson, Helena LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Denna uppsats berör gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp. I Sverige regleras uppsåtligt dödligt våld av två lagbestämmelser; 3 kap. 1 § BrB avseende mord och 3 kap. 2 § BrB avseende dråp. Det följer dock inte av lagtexten vilka omständigheter som ska beaktas vid gränsdragningen, utan den enda vägledningen domstolarna får av lagen är att brottet ska rubriceras som dråp när det föreligger förmildrande omständigheter. Av den statistik som finns gällande gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp följer att andelen fall av dödligt våld som rubriceras som mord har ökat drastiskt, medan andelen fall som rubriceras som dråp istället har sjunkit. Syftet med denna uppsats är följaktligen att belysa gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp. I detta syfte... (More)
Denna uppsats berör gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp. I Sverige regleras uppsåtligt dödligt våld av två lagbestämmelser; 3 kap. 1 § BrB avseende mord och 3 kap. 2 § BrB avseende dråp. Det följer dock inte av lagtexten vilka omständigheter som ska beaktas vid gränsdragningen, utan den enda vägledningen domstolarna får av lagen är att brottet ska rubriceras som dråp när det föreligger förmildrande omständigheter. Av den statistik som finns gällande gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp följer att andelen fall av dödligt våld som rubriceras som mord har ökat drastiskt, medan andelen fall som rubriceras som dråp istället har sjunkit. Syftet med denna uppsats är följaktligen att belysa gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp. I detta syfte ingår inte bara vilka omständigheter som beaktas vid rubriceringen, utan även om gränsen har flyttats med tiden.

Av BrB:s förarbeten följer vissa omständigheter som bör tillmätas betydelse i samband med rubriceringen. Av avgörande vikt för domstolarnas gränsdragning är dock vägledande avgöranden från i huvudsak Högsta domstolen. I slutändan blir det emellertid en bedömning för den enskilda domstolen i varje särskilt fall, då inget fall är något annat likt. Som särskilt kvalificerande omständigheter kan nämnas dödande av en närstående och dödande i samband med inbrott. Andra kvalificerande omständigheter som tillmäts betydelse är planerat dödande, om misshandeln varit särskilt grov samt om offret befunnit sig i en skyddslös situation. Särskilt förmildrande omständigheter föreligger vid aktiv dödshjälp, som brukar refereras till som barmhärtighetsdödande, och dödande av en plågoande. I de fall en plågoande dödats tar ofta de förmildrande omständigheterna över trots det faktum att plågoanden praktiskt taget alltid är en till gärningsmannen närstående person.

Denna uppsats behandlar även rättsläget i våra grannländer Finland, Norge och Danmark. Trots den geografiska närheten behandlar vi nämligen uppsåtligt dödligt våld på skilda sätt. Medan vi i Sverige har två nivåer av uppsåtligt dödligt våld har Finland tre och både Norge och Danmark endast en nivå. De omständigheter som i Sverige tas i beaktande i samband med gränsdragningen är dock i praktiken desamma som tas i beaktande i samband med straffmätningen i våra grannländer som inte tillämpar olika nivåer.

För att utreda om anledningen till den större andelen brott rubricerade som mord är en skärpt syn på dödligt våld görs en jämförelse mellan rättsfall med likartade omständigheter. Av denna jämförelse kan utläsas ett förändrat synsätt hos domstolarna – mest framträdande är att domstolarna förr ofta hade dråp som utgångspunkt, medan domstolarna idag istället, precis som lagen föreskriver, utgår från mord. Med två helt olika utgångspunkter följer naturligen att två liknande fall behandlas på olika sätt. Det är dock inte enbart utgångspunkterna som skiljer sig åt, utan domstolarna verkar onekligen reagera starkare på dödligt våld idag än vad de gjorde förr. Nyligen, år 2007, dömde till exempel Hovrätten för Västra Sverige en kvinna för mord sedan hon dödat sin man, som länge plågat henne både fysiskt och psykiskt. Brottet rubricerades som mord trots att just dödande av en plågoande är en uttalat förmildrande omständighet. Då domstolarna med tanke på det rättsläge som råder gör en bedömning i varje enskilt fall beror gränsdragningen till stor del på det synsätt som råder vid just den dömande domstolen. Bedömningarna skiftar därför, beroende på synsättet hos den aktuella domstolen.

Domstolarnas strängare syn på dödligt våld kan sammankopplas med en strängare syn på allvarligt våld i samhället överlag. Denna strängare syn på allvarligt våld kan hänföras till flera olika anledningar. En anledning kan vara medias rapportering av våldet. I synnerhet dödligt våld leder till stora rubriker och rapporteringarna kan få medborgarna att tro att våldet sker i högre grad än vad det gjorde förr. Genom framför allt lokala medier uppstår en rädsla bland befolkningen som leder till en strängare syn på våldet när det väl sker. En annan anledning är att vi i dagens välfärdssamhälle i praktiken kan kontrollera och skydda oss från allt förutom risken att utsättas för våld. Detta gör även rädslan för att detta ska ske ännu större. Samtidigt som vår rädsla ökar beter sig staten på ett allt mer ”preventionalistiskt” sätt. Detta kan för allmänheten ge ett intryck av att våldet har ökat.

Högsta domstolen har relativt nyligen, i NJA 2007 s. 194, uttalat att livstidsstraffet ska förbehållas de allra mest allvarliga fallen. Därmed har man tagit avstånd från de allt strängare domsluten. Uttalandet gällde visserligen inte brottsrubriceringen, men det är ändå möjligt att det påverkar domstolarnas inställning överlag. Möjligen kommer alltså domstolarnas bedömningar även vad gäller gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp att bli lindrigare i framtiden. Detta återstår dock att se. (Less)
Abstract
This essay deals with the established boundary between murder and manslaughter (in Swedish mord and dråp). Intentional deadly violence is in Sweden regulated in two articles; chapter 3 § 1 of BrB regarding murder and chapter 3 § 2 of BrB regarding manslaughter. The articles do not say what circumstances the courts should take into consideration when classifying the deed in question – the only guidance the articles offer the courts is that extenuating circumstances must be to hand for a deed to be classified as manslaughter. Available statistics regarding murder and manslaughter report that the percentage of cases of deadly violence that are classified as murder has increased drastically only the two last decades, whereas the percentage of... (More)
This essay deals with the established boundary between murder and manslaughter (in Swedish mord and dråp). Intentional deadly violence is in Sweden regulated in two articles; chapter 3 § 1 of BrB regarding murder and chapter 3 § 2 of BrB regarding manslaughter. The articles do not say what circumstances the courts should take into consideration when classifying the deed in question – the only guidance the articles offer the courts is that extenuating circumstances must be to hand for a deed to be classified as manslaughter. Available statistics regarding murder and manslaughter report that the percentage of cases of deadly violence that are classified as murder has increased drastically only the two last decades, whereas the percentage of cases that are classified as manslaughter has fallen. Hence, the purpose of this essay is to elucidate the boundary between murder and manslaughter. This purpose contains not only what circumstances that are taken into consideration by the courts when classifying a deed, but also if the boundary has changed over time.

The legislative history of BrB mentions some circumstances that should be of consideration when classifying the deed. However, indicative judgments – mainly from the Supreme Court – are of utmost importance for the courts’ establishment of a boundary. In the end, nevertheless, it is every separate court’s judgment in every particular case that determines the classification, since no case is like the other. Especially aggravating circumstances are killing kindred to the suspect and killing while burgling. Other aggravating circumstances that are taken into consideration are planned killing, particularly serious violence and if the victim has been guardless. Especially extenuating circumstances are in particular euthanasia and killing of a tormentor. When the victim for a long time has been tormenting the defendant, the extenuating circumstances often rule out the aggravating circumstances even though the tormentor, moreover the victim, almost always in these cases is kindred to the suspect.

This essay also deals with the legal situation in Sweden’s neighboring countries Finland, Norway and Denmark. Despite the geographical vicinity, these four countries handle deadly violence quite differently. While Sweden has two levels of intentional deadly violence, Finland has three and both Norway and Denmark have only one level. The circumstances that are taken into consideration when classifying deadly violence in Sweden are, however, practically the same as the circumstances that are taken into consideration when meting the punishment in our neighboring countries without different levels of deadly violence.

As mentioned above, today an increased percentage of suspects are sentenced to murder in comparison to the corresponding percentage only a decade ago. In order to examine whether the reason for this is a sharpened view of deadly violence this thesis makes a comparison between cases containing similar circumstances. This comparison shows a change in the view of the courts – most prominent is the fact that the courts in the past used manslaughter as the starting point, whereas the courts nowadays, as the law prescribes, use murder as the starting point. The natural result from the courts’ use of two different starting points is that two similar cases can be treated in different ways. However, the different starting points is not the only change in the judgments of the courts. Deadly violence undeniably seems to arouse stronger reactions from the courts today. Recently, in 2007, a Court of Appeal sentenced a woman for murder for killing her husband, who for a long time had been torturing her not only physically but also psychologically. Thus, the suspect was convicted for murder despite the fact that the killing of a tormentor is an extremely extenuating circumstance. Since there are no straight answers as to what circumstances are of the most importance, the courts’ judgments regarding the classification of the crime depend on the view of the court in question. The views of the different courts are, of course, different from each other. Hence, the judgments also vary.

There is nothing indicating that the increasing percentage suspects that are convicted for murder depend on rougher violence. More likely, it depends on a sharpened view from the courts regarding serious violence. This view can be connected to a sharpened view towards serious violence in society at large. A sharpened view as such can relate to many different causes. One of the factors that contribute to a changed view is the reports from media. Violence, especially deadly violence, often creates main headlines and the reports make people believe that the violence happens to a larger extent than it used to. Through reports from the media, in particular local media, a fear is created amongst the people. This fear is followed by a sharpened view of violence once it happens. Another cause for the changing view is that the citizens of welfare states can control and protect themselves from practically everything except the risk of being exposed to violence. This makes the fear of violence even more tangible. As people’s fear increases, the state acts more and more in favor of a “preventionalistic” view. For the public, this could give the impression that the violence has become more severe at the same time as the crimes have increased.

Relatively recently, through NJA 2007 s. 194, the Supreme Court commented that the life sentence should be spared for the most serious cases. By doing so, the court has shown repudiation towards the more and more sharp judgments. Admittedly, the court’s comment did not concern the classification of the crime, but it is still possible that it can affect the attitudes of the courts at large. Thus, it is possible that the future judgments of courts regarding the establishment of a boundary between murder and manslaughter will be milder. This, however, remains to be seen. (Less)
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author
Jacobsson, Helena LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
1628170
date added to LUP
2010-07-14 10:43:11
date last changed
2010-07-14 10:43:11
@misc{1628170,
  abstract     = {This essay deals with the established boundary between murder and manslaughter (in Swedish mord and dråp). Intentional deadly violence is in Sweden regulated in two articles; chapter 3 § 1 of BrB regarding murder and chapter 3 § 2 of BrB regarding manslaughter. The articles do not say what circumstances the courts should take into consideration when classifying the deed in question – the only guidance the articles offer the courts is that extenuating circumstances must be to hand for a deed to be classified as manslaughter. Available statistics regarding murder and manslaughter report that the percentage of cases of deadly violence that are classified as murder has increased drastically only the two last decades, whereas the percentage of cases that are classified as manslaughter has fallen. Hence, the purpose of this essay is to elucidate the boundary between murder and manslaughter. This purpose contains not only what circumstances that are taken into consideration by the courts when classifying a deed, but also if the boundary has changed over time.

The legislative history of BrB mentions some circumstances that should be of consideration when classifying the deed. However, indicative judgments – mainly from the Supreme Court – are of utmost importance for the courts’ establishment of a boundary. In the end, nevertheless, it is every separate court’s judgment in every particular case that determines the classification, since no case is like the other. Especially aggravating circumstances are killing kindred to the suspect and killing while burgling. Other aggravating circumstances that are taken into consideration are planned killing, particularly serious violence and if the victim has been guardless. Especially extenuating circumstances are in particular euthanasia and killing of a tormentor. When the victim for a long time has been tormenting the defendant, the extenuating circumstances often rule out the aggravating circumstances even though the tormentor, moreover the victim, almost always in these cases is kindred to the suspect.

This essay also deals with the legal situation in Sweden’s neighboring countries Finland, Norway and Denmark. Despite the geographical vicinity, these four countries handle deadly violence quite differently. While Sweden has two levels of intentional deadly violence, Finland has three and both Norway and Denmark have only one level. The circumstances that are taken into consideration when classifying deadly violence in Sweden are, however, practically the same as the circumstances that are taken into consideration when meting the punishment in our neighboring countries without different levels of deadly violence.  

As mentioned above, today an increased percentage of suspects are sentenced to murder in comparison to the corresponding percentage only a decade ago. In order to examine whether the reason for this is a sharpened view of deadly violence this thesis makes a comparison between cases containing similar circumstances. This comparison shows a change in the view of the courts – most prominent is the fact that the courts in the past used manslaughter as the starting point, whereas the courts nowadays, as the law prescribes, use murder as the starting point. The natural result from the courts’ use of two different starting points is that two similar cases can be treated in different ways. However, the different starting points is not the only change in the judgments of the courts. Deadly violence undeniably seems to arouse stronger reactions from the courts today. Recently, in 2007, a Court of Appeal sentenced a woman for murder for killing her husband, who for a long time had been torturing her not only physically but also psychologically. Thus, the suspect was convicted for murder despite the fact that the killing of a tormentor is an extremely extenuating circumstance. Since there are no straight answers as to what circumstances are of the most importance, the courts’ judgments regarding the classification of the crime depend on the view of the court in question. The views of the different courts are, of course, different from each other. Hence, the judgments also vary.

There is nothing indicating that the increasing percentage suspects that are convicted for murder depend on rougher violence. More likely, it depends on a sharpened view from the courts regarding serious violence. This view can be connected to a sharpened view towards serious violence in society at large. A sharpened view as such can relate to many different causes. One of the factors that contribute to a changed view is the reports from media. Violence, especially deadly violence, often creates main headlines and the reports make people believe that the violence happens to a larger extent than it used to. Through reports from the media, in particular local media, a fear is created amongst the people. This fear is followed by a sharpened view of violence once it happens. Another cause for the changing view is that the citizens of welfare states can control and protect themselves from practically everything except the risk of being exposed to violence. This makes the fear of violence even more tangible. As people’s fear increases, the state acts more and more in favor of a “preventionalistic” view. For the public, this could give the impression that the violence has become more severe at the same time as the crimes have increased.

Relatively recently, through NJA 2007 s. 194, the Supreme Court commented that the life sentence should be spared for the most serious cases. By doing so, the court has shown repudiation towards the more and more sharp judgments. Admittedly, the court’s comment did not concern the classification of the crime, but it is still possible that it can affect the attitudes of the courts at large. Thus, it is possible that the future judgments of courts regarding the establishment of a boundary between murder and manslaughter will be milder. This, however, remains to be seen.},
  author       = {Jacobsson, Helena},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Gränsdragningen mellan mord och dråp},
  year         = {2010},
}