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Livstidsstraffet - behandling eller vedergällning?

Gustafsson Johansson, Amanda LU (2014) LAGF03 20141
Faculty of Law
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Uppsatsens syfte är att undersöka hur och varför lagstiftningen kring påföljden livstidsstraff vid mord har förändrats under de senaste 15 åren, 1999-2014, i Sverige samt de bakomliggande tankegångarna. Uppsatsen presenteras ur ett rättshistoriskt perspektiv.

För att kunna ge en bättre bakgrund har en kort historisk bakgrund presenterats som sedan övergår i uppsatsens avhandling gällande de senaste 15 åren.

Frågan gällande att avskaffa livstidsstraffet har lyfts tre gånger 1934, 1953 och 2009, men vid alla dessa tillfällen drog lagstiftaren slutsatsen att det fanns brottslingar som inte kan hanteras på annat sätt.

Det har pågått en ständig pendling mellan livstidsstraffets syfte gällande om det är behandling eller vedergällning.... (More)
Uppsatsens syfte är att undersöka hur och varför lagstiftningen kring påföljden livstidsstraff vid mord har förändrats under de senaste 15 åren, 1999-2014, i Sverige samt de bakomliggande tankegångarna. Uppsatsen presenteras ur ett rättshistoriskt perspektiv.

För att kunna ge en bättre bakgrund har en kort historisk bakgrund presenterats som sedan övergår i uppsatsens avhandling gällande de senaste 15 åren.

Frågan gällande att avskaffa livstidsstraffet har lyfts tre gånger 1934, 1953 och 2009, men vid alla dessa tillfällen drog lagstiftaren slutsatsen att det fanns brottslingar som inte kan hanteras på annat sätt.

Det har pågått en ständig pendling mellan livstidsstraffets syfte gällande om det är behandling eller vedergällning. När Brottsbalken infördes lades en grund som står på behandlingsteorin men flertalet gånger har teorin ifrågasatts. Den pendling som ses genom historiken återspeglas även i vårt nära förflutna.

Påföljden ändrades 2009 efter regeringen uppmärksammat ett behov till nyanseringsmöjligheter från de lägre instanserna. Detta behov uppstod när Högsta Domstolen i NJA 2007 s. 194 uttalade att livstidsstraff endast skulle utdömas vid de allvarligaste fallen av mord. Lagändringen tillgodosåg ett nyanseringsbehov och åtgärdade den diskrepans som fanns mellan de två alternativa påföljderna. Påföljden som blev gällande var fängelse i lägst tio år eller högst 18 år eller livstids fängelse. Utvecklingen är en fortsättning av en humanisering av straffpåföljden som pågått sedan livstidsstraffets införande.

Den 1 juli 2014 kommer en ny lagändring gällande påföljden av mord att träda i kraft. Denna har till syfte att ge genomslag till den skärpta samhällssyn som finns gällande de allvarliga våldsbrotten och därför skall livstidsstraff utdömas vid majoriteten av mordfallen. Lagändringen 2014 ifrågasätts starkt när det inte tycks finnas ett reellt behov av straffskärpning bland allmänheten.

Slutsatsen är att det inte har gått att enas kring vad som är det bästa alternativet, utan det kommer troligtvis pågå en ständig pendling mellan behandling eller vedergällning. Utvecklingen som pågått under 200 år har hela tiden strävat efter humanisering och behandling. Det har gjort att svensk rätt har varit framåtsträvande men nu tycks den tyvärr bli bakåtsträvande. Det som regeringen kanske borde snegla åt är till dess föregångare som 1921 avskaffade dödsstraffet, mot allmänhetens vilja, när det inte kunde motiveras.

Det kan ifrågasättas om lagstiftaren ändrar påföljden för mord för att tillfredsställa en oinformerad allmänhet. Vi måste inse att vara hård mot brott är inte detsamma som att vara hård mot brottslingar. (Less)
Abstract
The purpose of this essay is to investigate how and why the legislation concerning the sentence of life imprisonment for murder has changed in Sweden over the past 15 years, 1999-2014, and the thought process behind the changes. The investigation will be presented from a legal historical perspective.

In order to explain the development a short historical background has presented the thoughts behind the sentence.

The possibility of abolishing the sentence of life imprisonment has been raised three times, in 1934, 1953, and 2009, but on all of these occasions, the conclusion the legislator came to was that there exist criminals that are not possible to manage in any other way.

With regard to the actual purpose of the life... (More)
The purpose of this essay is to investigate how and why the legislation concerning the sentence of life imprisonment for murder has changed in Sweden over the past 15 years, 1999-2014, and the thought process behind the changes. The investigation will be presented from a legal historical perspective.

In order to explain the development a short historical background has presented the thoughts behind the sentence.

The possibility of abolishing the sentence of life imprisonment has been raised three times, in 1934, 1953, and 2009, but on all of these occasions, the conclusion the legislator came to was that there exist criminals that are not possible to manage in any other way.

With regard to the actual purpose of the life imprisonment sentence, there has been a constant oscillation between treatment and punishment. When the Penal Code (Brottsbalken) came into force, it was based upon a foundation with the purpose of rehabilitative treatment, but since then it has been brought into question several times. The oscillation between these two approaches in history may also be seen in our recent past.

In 2009, the law concerning the penalty was modified due to a need to nuance the sentence. This need arose among the courts when the Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) (case NJA 2007 s. 194) highlighted that the sentence of life imprisonment should only be imposed in the most severe cases of murder. The new law corrected the need of nuance as well as the discrepancy that had existed between the two alternative sanctions. The legislative change resulted in a new sentencing range of ten years or a maximum of 18 or life imprisonment. The 2009 reform can be seen as a continuation of the historical ongoing trend of humanization.

In July 2014, newly changed legislation regarding the penalty of murder will take effect. The intention is to allow the ongoing new stringent position regarding serious crimes of violence to take place in the law. The new position gives the legislator the motivation to correct the law in order to assert the penalty of lifetime imprisonment in the majority of murder cases. The new reform has faced questioning since the public’s real and actual demand for more stringent penalties is uncertain.

The conclusion is that it has not been possible to agree on what the best option between treatment and punishment is, and it is safe to say that the oscillation will be ongoing. One thing to bear in mind is the fact that for the past 200 years, Swedish society has consistently strived towards humanization and treatment. These efforts are included in the reasons why Swedish law has been considered as progressing, however, regrettably it now seems that it have become reactionary. Perhaps current governments should look back at their predecessors of 1921 who abolished the death penalty, even against the will of the public, as it could not be justified.

The question is whether the case here is that the legislator is altering the law in order to satisfy the uninformed public. We must come to realize that being tough on crime is not the same as being tough on criminals. (Less)
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author
Gustafsson Johansson, Amanda LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20141
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Livstidsstraff, Livstids fängelse, Rättsutveckling, Mord, Processrätt, Rättshistoria, Straffrätt, 3 kap. 1 § BrB, BrB, Brottsbalken
language
Swedish
id
4449617
date added to LUP
2014-06-17 14:00:15
date last changed
2014-06-17 14:00:15
@misc{4449617,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this essay is to investigate how and why the legislation concerning the sentence of life imprisonment for murder has changed in Sweden over the past 15 years, 1999-2014, and the thought process behind the changes. The investigation will be presented from a legal historical perspective.

In order to explain the development a short historical background has presented the thoughts behind the sentence. 

The possibility of abolishing the sentence of life imprisonment has been raised three times, in 1934, 1953, and 2009, but on all of these occasions, the conclusion the legislator came to was that there exist criminals that are not possible to manage in any other way.

With regard to the actual purpose of the life imprisonment sentence, there has been a constant oscillation between treatment and punishment. When the Penal Code (Brottsbalken) came into force, it was based upon a foundation with the purpose of rehabilitative treatment, but since then it has been brought into question several times. The oscillation between these two approaches in history may also be seen in our recent past.

In 2009, the law concerning the penalty was modified due to a need to nuance the sentence. This need arose among the courts when the Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) (case NJA 2007 s. 194) highlighted that the sentence of life imprisonment should only be imposed in the most severe cases of murder. The new law corrected the need of nuance as well as the discrepancy that had existed between the two alternative sanctions. The legislative change resulted in a new sentencing range of ten years or a maximum of 18 or life imprisonment. The 2009 reform can be seen as a continuation of the historical ongoing trend of humanization.

In July 2014, newly changed legislation regarding the penalty of murder will take effect. The intention is to allow the ongoing new stringent position regarding serious crimes of violence to take place in the law. The new position gives the legislator the motivation to correct the law in order to assert the penalty of lifetime imprisonment in the majority of murder cases. The new reform has faced questioning since the public’s real and actual demand for more stringent penalties is uncertain.

The conclusion is that it has not been possible to agree on what the best option between treatment and punishment is, and it is safe to say that the oscillation will be ongoing. One thing to bear in mind is the fact that for the past 200 years, Swedish society has consistently strived towards humanization and treatment. These efforts are included in the reasons why Swedish law has been considered as progressing, however, regrettably it now seems that it have become reactionary. Perhaps current governments should look back at their predecessors of 1921 who abolished the death penalty, even against the will of the public, as it could not be justified.

The question is whether the case here is that the legislator is altering the law in order to satisfy the uninformed public. We must come to realize that being tough on crime is not the same as being tough on criminals.},
  author       = {Gustafsson Johansson, Amanda},
  keyword      = {Livstidsstraff,Livstids fängelse,Rättsutveckling,Mord,Processrätt,Rättshistoria,Straffrätt,3 kap. 1 § BrB,BrB,Brottsbalken},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Livstidsstraffet - behandling eller vedergällning?},
  year         = {2014},
}