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Livstids fängelse - Relevant i vår tid?

Lindgren, Eric LU (2013) LAGF03 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Denna kandidatuppsats utreder frågan om straffet livstids fängelse i Sverige bör kvarstå i sin nuvarande utformning. I uppsatsen görs en beskrivning av den historiska bakgrunden till straffet. Uppsatsens syfte är att klargöra om livstidsstraffet är en försvarlig påföljd i vårt moderna rätts-samhälle.
Uppsatsen baseras på ett rättsutvecklingsperspektiv för att förklara hur livstidsstraffet fått sin nuvarande betydelse. Den följer straffrättens utveckling i Sverige från medeltid till 1800-talet, då fängelsestraff och livstidsstraff kom att ersätta tidigare kroppsaga, straffarbete och i viss mån även dödsstraff.
Dödsstraffet avskaffades 1921 och ersattes av livstidsstraffet som därmed blev lagens strängaste straff. Till en början... (More)
Denna kandidatuppsats utreder frågan om straffet livstids fängelse i Sverige bör kvarstå i sin nuvarande utformning. I uppsatsen görs en beskrivning av den historiska bakgrunden till straffet. Uppsatsens syfte är att klargöra om livstidsstraffet är en försvarlig påföljd i vårt moderna rätts-samhälle.
Uppsatsen baseras på ett rättsutvecklingsperspektiv för att förklara hur livstidsstraffet fått sin nuvarande betydelse. Den följer straffrättens utveckling i Sverige från medeltid till 1800-talet, då fängelsestraff och livstidsstraff kom att ersätta tidigare kroppsaga, straffarbete och i viss mån även dödsstraff.
Dödsstraffet avskaffades 1921 och ersattes av livstidsstraffet som därmed blev lagens strängaste straff. Till en början accepterades straffet av de flesta och det sågs som ett naturligt och humant alternativ till dödsstraffet. Efterhand tilltog kritiken mot att straffet var obestämt i tid eftersom det faktum ansågs äventyra rättssäkerheten.
Livstidsstraffet överlevde samtidigt som övriga tidsobestämda påföljder avskaffades under slutet av 70- och början av 80-talet. Att den rättssäkerhet som ett tidsbestämt straff inneburit inte prioriterades, tillskrevs de konservativa idéer om långvariga fängelsestraff som vunnit gehör på bekostnad av den s.k. behandlingsteorins teser.
Under slutet av 90-talet och början av 2000-talet var livstidsstraffet i princip det enda för-kommande påföljdsvalet vid mord. Som en anpassning till rådande förhållanden och till den negativa kritik som framfördes mot livstidsstraffet, gavs 2006 en möjlighet för livstidsdömda att via den s.k. Omvandlingslagen få sitt straff tidsbestämt i domstol. Detta beslut innebar en stor för-ändring, då det fram till dess endast varit möjligt att ansöka om tidsbestämning av livstidsstraff hos regeringen via nådeansökan.
År 2007 uttalade Högsta domstolen att livstidsstraffet skulle förbehållas de allvarligaste fallen av mord. Lagstiftaren uppmärksammade problematiken, en utökad straffskala instiftades och det tidsbestämda fängelsestraffet kan nu utdömas på mellan tio och arton års tid. På så vis gavs dom-stolarna en bättre möjlighet att ta hänsyn till förmildrande och försvårande omständigheter i det enskilda fallet.
Uppsatsens slutsats blir att livstidsstraffets varande bör ifrågasättas, då det dels p.g.a. otidsenlighet har spelat ut sin roll, dels redan i domstolar tillämpas som tidsbestämt eftersom generellt sett en andra bedömning kommer att göras. I dess ställe skulle ett tidsbestämt fängelsestraff
införas. (Less)
Abstract
This bachelor’s thesis investigates the question if the sentence of life imprisonment in Sweden ought to be maintained in its present form. The thesis makes a historical description of the sen-tence since its purpose is to clarify whether the life sentence is an appropriate penalty in todays modern society founded on the rule of law.
In order to explain how the life sentence has come into use and been given its present mean-ing this thesis is based on a perspective focusing on the development of the law. It follows the development of the criminal law in Sweden from the Middle Ages to the 19th century when the prison sentence and the life sentence came to replace earlier corporal punishment, penal servitude and in a sense also death... (More)
This bachelor’s thesis investigates the question if the sentence of life imprisonment in Sweden ought to be maintained in its present form. The thesis makes a historical description of the sen-tence since its purpose is to clarify whether the life sentence is an appropriate penalty in todays modern society founded on the rule of law.
In order to explain how the life sentence has come into use and been given its present mean-ing this thesis is based on a perspective focusing on the development of the law. It follows the development of the criminal law in Sweden from the Middle Ages to the 19th century when the prison sentence and the life sentence came to replace earlier corporal punishment, penal servitude and in a sense also death penalty.
The death penalty was abolished in 1921 and replaced by the life sentence, which became the most severe penalty of the law. Initially most people accepted the penalty and they saw it as a natural and humane alternative to the death penalty but in time the criticism increased and the life sentence was considered jeopardizing the rule of law since it was indefinite in time.
The life sentence survived while at the same time the other time-indefinite sanctions were abolished at the end of the ’70s and the beginning of the ’80s. The reason for why the security of the rule of law, which a time-definite penalty upheld was not more highly valid can in one way be ascribed to the conservative ideas regarding long-lasting prison sentences which had met sympa-thy at the cost of the Treatment Theory’s beliefs.
During the end of the ’90s and the beginning of the 21th century, the life sentence was in principle the common sentence for homicide. As an adaptation to the present situation and to the criticism, which was being held against the life sentence, a possibility to time-definite the penalty in court was given in 2006 through the institution of a new law. This decision meant a huge change since before the institution of the law, it had only been possible to apply for a time-definite life sentence through the government by petition for pardon.
In 2007 the Supreme Court pronounced that the life sentence should be reserved for the most severe cases of homicide. The legislator observed the problem and measures were taken in the form of an institution to a new, extended range of punishment which changed the alternative, time-definite prison sentence to be able to be imposed on between ten and eighteen years time.
Through this legislation the courts were given a new possibility to take both extenuating and ag-gravating circumstances into consideration in the individual case.
The conclusion of the thesis becomes that the existence of the life sentence ought to be
questioned since it is anachronistic and has played out its role, and because the courts already administer the penalty as if it was time-definite. The courts put the life sentence into practice this way since they know that there will be a second evaluation made by another court later on. A time-definite penalty should replace the life sentence. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Lindgren, Eric LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
rättshistoria (en. legal history) straffrätt (en. criminal law) rättsvetenskap (en. law) livstids fängelse livstidsstraff straffrättshistoria
language
Swedish
id
3800858
date added to LUP
2013-09-11 14:21:47
date last changed
2013-09-11 14:21:47
@misc{3800858,
  abstract     = {This bachelor’s thesis investigates the question if the sentence of life imprisonment in Sweden ought to be maintained in its present form. The thesis makes a historical description of the sen-tence since its purpose is to clarify whether the life sentence is an appropriate penalty in todays modern society founded on the rule of law.
In order to explain how the life sentence has come into use and been given its present mean-ing this thesis is based on a perspective focusing on the development of the law. It follows the development of the criminal law in Sweden from the Middle Ages to the 19th century when the prison sentence and the life sentence came to replace earlier corporal punishment, penal servitude and in a sense also death penalty.
The death penalty was abolished in 1921 and replaced by the life sentence, which became the most severe penalty of the law. Initially most people accepted the penalty and they saw it as a natural and humane alternative to the death penalty but in time the criticism increased and the life sentence was considered jeopardizing the rule of law since it was indefinite in time. 
The life sentence survived while at the same time the other time-indefinite sanctions were abolished at the end of the ’70s and the beginning of the ’80s. The reason for why the security of the rule of law, which a time-definite penalty upheld was not more highly valid can in one way be ascribed to the conservative ideas regarding long-lasting prison sentences which had met sympa-thy at the cost of the Treatment Theory’s beliefs.
During the end of the ’90s and the beginning of the 21th century, the life sentence was in principle the common sentence for homicide. As an adaptation to the present situation and to the criticism, which was being held against the life sentence, a possibility to time-definite the penalty in court was given in 2006 through the institution of a new law. This decision meant a huge change since before the institution of the law, it had only been possible to apply for a time-definite life sentence through the government by petition for pardon.
In 2007 the Supreme Court pronounced that the life sentence should be reserved for the most severe cases of homicide. The legislator observed the problem and measures were taken in the form of an institution to a new, extended range of punishment which changed the alternative, time-definite prison sentence to be able to be imposed on between ten and eighteen years time.
Through this legislation the courts were given a new possibility to take both extenuating and ag-gravating circumstances into consideration in the individual case.
The conclusion of the thesis becomes that the existence of the life sentence ought to be 
questioned since it is anachronistic and has played out its role, and because the courts already administer the penalty as if it was time-definite. The courts put the life sentence into practice this way since they know that there will be a second evaluation made by another court later on. A time-definite penalty should replace the life sentence.},
  author       = {Lindgren, Eric},
  keyword      = {rättshistoria (en. legal history) straffrätt (en. criminal law) rättsvetenskap (en. law) livstids fängelse livstidsstraff straffrättshistoria},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Livstids fängelse - Relevant i vår tid?},
  year         = {2013},
}