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Skärpt straff vid återfall - Några rättsverkningar av tidigare brottslighet

Olvon, Charlotte LU (2012) JURM01 20122
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Den tilltalades tidigare brottslighet kan i svensk rätt påverka påföljdsbestämningen för ny brottslighet, dvs. straffmätning och påföljdsval, på främst tre sätt. I första hand kan den tidigare brottsligheten beaktas genom ett skärpt påföljdsval. I andra hand har rätten möjlighet att förklara villkorligt medgiven frihet förverkad. I sista hand finns det genom straffskärpning möjlighet att förlänga det utdömda straffet eller bestämma ett högre bötesbelopp. Sedan 2010 års straffmätningsreform och Påföljdsutrednings nyligen framlagda förslag tyder mycket på att återfallsskärpning kommer vara en del i svensk rätt även i framtiden.

Huruvida återfallsbestämmelserna är rimliga och förenliga med straffrättsliga grundsatser är omtvistat i... (More)
Den tilltalades tidigare brottslighet kan i svensk rätt påverka påföljdsbestämningen för ny brottslighet, dvs. straffmätning och påföljdsval, på främst tre sätt. I första hand kan den tidigare brottsligheten beaktas genom ett skärpt påföljdsval. I andra hand har rätten möjlighet att förklara villkorligt medgiven frihet förverkad. I sista hand finns det genom straffskärpning möjlighet att förlänga det utdömda straffet eller bestämma ett högre bötesbelopp. Sedan 2010 års straffmätningsreform och Påföljdsutrednings nyligen framlagda förslag tyder mycket på att återfallsskärpning kommer vara en del i svensk rätt även i framtiden.

Huruvida återfallsbestämmelserna är rimliga och förenliga med straffrättsliga grundsatser är omtvistat i doktrinen. Återfallsbestämmelserna kan motiveras med både en absolut och retributiv syn på straff, och med en relativ och instrumentell syn på straff.
De nuvarande bestämmelserna kan inordnas i en privilegieringsmodell som bygger på en toleransteori enligt vilken rätten genom strafflindring visar en tolerans gentemot förstagångsförbrytaren. Fortsätter den dömde att begå brott avtar toleransen successivt och strängare straff utdöms.
Eftersom lagstiftaren anser att återfallsskärpning är en nödvändig förutsättning för straffsystemets trovärdighet och legitimitet, tar lagstiftaren i förarbetena gärna hänsyn till det så kallade allmänna rättsmedvetandet. Att skaffa sig en fullständig kunskap om rättsmedvetandets egentliga innehåll är emellertid svårt. Rättsmedvetandet som lagstiftningsgrund är därför inte helt oproblematiskt.

I uppsatsen sätts skälen för återfallsbestämmelserna i relation till främst straffrättsliga teorier och för straffrätten samt straffrättspolitiken viktiga principer. En kriminologisk och rättssociologisk vinkel är nödvändig för att bland annat kunna förhålla sig till bestämmelsernas preventiva verkan.
Några för uppsatsen centrala frågeställningar är om återfallsbestämmelserna tillgodoser brottspreventiva syften eller om de går att förena de i förarbetena betonade principerna om proportionalitet och humanitet.
Frågorna besvaras nekande eller delvis jakande med några invändningar. Det är problematiskt att på ett teoretiskt och välmotiverat sätt förena återfallsskärpning med ett påföljdssystem som bygger på en (strävan efter) renodlad proportionalitet och ekvivalens. Eftersom straff bestäms utifrån proportionalitetsprincipen kan allmän- och individualpreventiva skäl som motivering till straffskärpning inte godtas. Toleransteorin ger en förklaring till hur en förstagångsbrottsling bör särbehandlas, men det uppstår förklaringssvårigheter till varför en särbehandling är rättvis och rimlig eller varför straffsystemet inte kan fortsätta vara tolerant mot återfallsförbrytaren. Tankesättet ligger i linje med en moralisk argumentation och är ingen naturlig straffrättslig angelägenhet. I övrigt strider återfallsbestämmelserna mot dubbelbestraffningsförbudet, ne bis in idem. (Less)
Abstract
According to current Swedish Penal Code, prior convictions can be taken into consideration by the court in mainly three different ways. Firstly, by a different choice of sentence, according to 30 chapter 4 § BrB. Secondly, by forfeiture of conditional discharge, according to 34 chapter 4 § BrB. Thirdly, by a stricter penalty, according to 29 chapter 4 § BrB. After the sentencing reform in 2010 and a recently presented proposal regarding new legislation including punishment for recidivists, it is now certain that previous convictions are regarded as aggravating at sentencing and will be continued to be so.
It is a contested question in the field of criminal sentencing, whether prior convictions should be taken into account when deciding... (More)
According to current Swedish Penal Code, prior convictions can be taken into consideration by the court in mainly three different ways. Firstly, by a different choice of sentence, according to 30 chapter 4 § BrB. Secondly, by forfeiture of conditional discharge, according to 34 chapter 4 § BrB. Thirdly, by a stricter penalty, according to 29 chapter 4 § BrB. After the sentencing reform in 2010 and a recently presented proposal regarding new legislation including punishment for recidivists, it is now certain that previous convictions are regarded as aggravating at sentencing and will be continued to be so.
It is a contested question in the field of criminal sentencing, whether prior convictions should be taken into account when deciding the quantum of punishment. The current legislation can be motivated from both absolute and retributive grounds and also from relative and instrumental grounds. However, it is argued that current legislation is based on a tolerance oriented model through a progressive loss of mitigation, which a recent legislative work confirms. The concept of the progressive loss of mitigation is straightforward: Impose a discounted sentence upon first offenders, and then progressively reduce the magnitude of the discount as the offender accumulates additional convictions.
According to the legislator recidivist criminals should be punished harsher than first offenders in order to preserve the credibility of the penal system, which is why the public opinion is referred to in the legislative work. The public opinion is, however, combined with difficulties in legislation. Firstly, because there is no empirical support that the opinion that recidivists should receive harsher sentences is in fact public. Secondly, because the public opinion may not be consistent with a rational legislation.
Another question this study sets out to investigate is whether previous convictions can be taken into consideration in a legal system based on the principle of proportionality and humanity. The answer is negative. The theory of tolerance explains why the first time offender should be punished less severely but it does not clarify how this beneficial discrimination can be justified. Do previous convictions somehow enhance the culpability or increase the harm of the crime? Is it correct to argue that the first time offender deserves reduced disapproval for his misdeed by pointing to human frailty that can lead someone to a lapse, a momentary loss of self-control, for which some understanding ought to be shown? The concept is concluded to be a result of moral reasoning or intuitive justice and is therefore not a natural matter of penal theory.
According to another approach, it is argued that by sentencing offenders to harsher punishment we expect to deter them or other potential criminals from recidivating (individual and general prevention) or at least keep them incapacitated. However, there is no empirical evidence to uphold these ideas. The principle of ne bis in idem leads to the conclusion that an aggravating factor may be taken into consideration only once during the sentencing procedure. Due to the restriction imposed by this principle it is concluded that previous convictions are given a disproportionate role in the sentencing system. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Olvon, Charlotte LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Punishing recidivists - Previous convictions at sentencing
course
JURM01 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt, återfall i brott, tidigare brottslighet, påföljdsbestämning
language
Swedish
id
3125088
date added to LUP
2012-11-01 11:32:18
date last changed
2016-07-05 14:26:38
@misc{3125088,
  abstract     = {According to current Swedish Penal Code, prior convictions can be taken into consideration by the court in mainly three different ways. Firstly, by a different choice of sentence, according to 30 chapter 4 § BrB. Secondly, by forfeiture of conditional discharge, according to 34 chapter 4 § BrB. Thirdly, by a stricter penalty, according to 29 chapter 4 § BrB. After the sentencing reform in 2010 and a recently presented proposal regarding new legislation including punishment for recidivists, it is now certain that previous convictions are regarded as aggravating at sentencing and will be continued to be so. 
It is a contested question in the field of criminal sentencing, whether prior convictions should be taken into account when deciding the quantum of punishment. The current legislation can be motivated from both absolute and retributive grounds and also from relative and instrumental grounds. However, it is argued that current legislation is based on a tolerance oriented model through a progressive loss of mitigation, which a recent legislative work confirms. The concept of the progressive loss of mitigation is straightforward: Impose a discounted sentence upon first offenders, and then progressively reduce the magnitude of the discount as the offender accumulates additional convictions.
According to the legislator recidivist criminals should be punished harsher than first offenders in order to preserve the credibility of the penal system, which is why the public opinion is referred to in the legislative work. The public opinion is, however, combined with difficulties in legislation. Firstly, because there is no empirical support that the opinion that recidivists should receive harsher sentences is in fact public. Secondly, because the public opinion may not be consistent with a rational legislation.
Another question this study sets out to investigate is whether previous convictions can be taken into consideration in a legal system based on the principle of proportionality and humanity. The answer is negative. The theory of tolerance explains why the first time offender should be punished less severely but it does not clarify how this beneficial discrimination can be justified. Do previous convictions somehow enhance the culpability or increase the harm of the crime? Is it correct to argue that the first time offender deserves reduced disapproval for his misdeed by pointing to human frailty that can lead someone to a lapse, a momentary loss of self-control, for which some understanding ought to be shown? The concept is concluded to be a result of moral reasoning or intuitive justice and is therefore not a natural matter of penal theory. 
According to another approach, it is argued that by sentencing offenders to harsher punishment we expect to deter them or other potential criminals from recidivating (individual and general prevention) or at least keep them incapacitated. However, there is no empirical evidence to uphold these ideas. The principle of ne bis in idem leads to the conclusion that an aggravating factor may be taken into consideration only once during the sentencing procedure. Due to the restriction imposed by this principle it is concluded that previous convictions are given a disproportionate role in the sentencing system.},
  author       = {Olvon, Charlotte},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,återfall i brott,tidigare brottslighet,påföljdsbestämning},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Skärpt straff vid återfall - Några rättsverkningar av tidigare brottslighet},
  year         = {2012},
}