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Bevisprövning och sömnstörningar

Jörnroth, Peter LU (2017) JURM02 20171
Department of Law
Abstract
The ‘Sleepwalking Defence’ is not a new phenomena. The first murder case in which defence lawyers blamed the violent crime on an unconscious act performed by a sleeping defendant dates back to the mid 19th century. This essay investigates 75 such district court judgments of which 42 have been ruled by the Court of Appeals. Within Swedish criminal proceedings, the majority of cases where the accused has claimed to be asleep at the scene entail charges of sexual offenses or crimes related to driving a car.

The medical research regarding sleepwalking (somnambulism) – and in particular sexsomnia (sleep sex) – is, relatively new. Progress is required in order to provide a satisfactory and comprehensive medical basis that will meet legal... (More)
The ‘Sleepwalking Defence’ is not a new phenomena. The first murder case in which defence lawyers blamed the violent crime on an unconscious act performed by a sleeping defendant dates back to the mid 19th century. This essay investigates 75 such district court judgments of which 42 have been ruled by the Court of Appeals. Within Swedish criminal proceedings, the majority of cases where the accused has claimed to be asleep at the scene entail charges of sexual offenses or crimes related to driving a car.

The medical research regarding sleepwalking (somnambulism) – and in particular sexsomnia (sleep sex) – is, relatively new. Progress is required in order to provide a satisfactory and comprehensive medical basis that will meet legal demands. However, the court is not in position to wait for these medical advances. As such, this body of research has identified nine procedural errors that the court can address to remedy the lag.

The Swedish Supreme Court has declared that it is best practice for the courts to appoint an expert on the matter rather than an expert being hired by either of the opposing parties. Despite this declaration, the hiring of expert witnesses – including how the court gains expert knowledge – has been handed over to the parties. This essay postulates that providing an expert witness with a clear and specific request, one that includes a clinical sleep analysis of the accused, would address several of the current errors.

Another error relates to methodological practices. Specifically, the method for evidence assessment that court has combined with the selected degree of evidential requirements, increases the risk that defendant statements will be assigned too high a probative value. Since the prosecutor’s burden of proof applies to the general theme of evidence rather than every single fact, the “balcony method” is the preferred method of legal assessment for cases involving a sleepwalking defence. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Att tilltalade påstår att de handlat i sömnen är inget nytt fenomen, internationella mordrättegångar finns återgivna från mitten av 1800-talet. Uppsatsen omfattar en undersökning av 75 tingsrättsdomar varav 42 överklagats och avgjorts i hovrätten. Vid svenska brottmålsrättegångar är det främst vid åtal om sexualbrott och brottslighet relaterad till bilkörning där tilltalade påstått att de sov vid gärningen.

Den medicinska forskningen angående sömnstörningar och sömngång (somnambulism) generellt – och sexsomni i synnerhet – är relativt ung. Det krävs framsteg för att forskningen ska utgöra ett tillfredställande (heltäckande) medicinskt underlag inför den juridiska problemställningen. Rätten kan givetvis inte avvakta de medicinska... (More)
Att tilltalade påstår att de handlat i sömnen är inget nytt fenomen, internationella mordrättegångar finns återgivna från mitten av 1800-talet. Uppsatsen omfattar en undersökning av 75 tingsrättsdomar varav 42 överklagats och avgjorts i hovrätten. Vid svenska brottmålsrättegångar är det främst vid åtal om sexualbrott och brottslighet relaterad till bilkörning där tilltalade påstått att de sov vid gärningen.

Den medicinska forskningen angående sömnstörningar och sömngång (somnambulism) generellt – och sexsomni i synnerhet – är relativt ung. Det krävs framsteg för att forskningen ska utgöra ett tillfredställande (heltäckande) medicinskt underlag inför den juridiska problemställningen. Rätten kan givetvis inte avvakta de medicinska framstegen men genom undersökningen har 9 felkällor identifierats, vilka domstolen ytterst är ansvariga för.

Högsta Domstolen har påtalat att det är fördelaktigt att domstolen förordnar den sakkunnige istället för att den sakkunnige anlitas utav någon av parterna. Trots det har rätten vid sömnstörningsfall i princip helt överlämnat hanteringen av sakkunniga – och inhämtandet av särskilda erfarenhetssatser – till parterna. Ett tydligt och välspecificerat uppdrag åt den sakkunnige, inkluderat kliniska sömnundersökningar av den tilltalade, bedöms åtgärda flera av de identifierade felkällorna.

Även metodologiska felkällor har identifierats. Framförallt kombinationen bevisvärderingsmetod och beviskrav har föranlett en risk att den tilltalades påstående givits ett för högt bevisvärde. Att åklagaren har bevisbördan gäller bevistemat och inte varje enskilt bevisfaktum varför balkongmetoden – framför rättsinvändningsmetoden – förordas vid bevisvärderingen. (Less)
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author
Jörnroth, Peter LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Sleep Disorders and Evaluation of Evidence
course
JURM02 20171
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt, bevisprövning, sömnstörningar
language
Swedish
id
8908680
date added to LUP
2017-06-12 18:42:28
date last changed
2017-06-15 13:40:48
@misc{8908680,
  abstract     = {The ‘Sleepwalking Defence’ is not a new phenomena. The first murder case in which defence lawyers blamed the violent crime on an unconscious act performed by a sleeping defendant dates back to the mid 19th century. This essay investigates 75 such district court judgments of which 42 have been ruled by the Court of Appeals. Within Swedish criminal proceedings, the majority of cases where the accused has claimed to be asleep at the scene entail charges of sexual offenses or crimes related to driving a car.

The medical research regarding sleepwalking (somnambulism) – and in particular sexsomnia (sleep sex) – is, relatively new. Progress is required in order to provide a satisfactory and comprehensive medical basis that will meet legal demands. However, the court is not in position to wait for these medical advances. As such, this body of research has identified nine procedural errors that the court can address to remedy the lag.

The Swedish Supreme Court has declared that it is best practice for the courts to appoint an expert on the matter rather than an expert being hired by either of the opposing parties. Despite this declaration, the hiring of expert witnesses – including how the court gains expert knowledge – has been handed over to the parties. This essay postulates that providing an expert witness with a clear and specific request, one that includes a clinical sleep analysis of the accused, would address several of the current errors.

Another error relates to methodological practices. Specifically, the method for evidence assessment that court has combined with the selected degree of evidential requirements, increases the risk that defendant statements will be assigned too high a probative value. Since the prosecutor’s burden of proof applies to the general theme of evidence rather than every single fact, the “balcony method” is the preferred method of legal assessment for cases involving a sleepwalking defence.},
  author       = {Jörnroth, Peter},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,bevisprövning,sömnstörningar},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Bevisprövning och sömnstörningar},
  year         = {2017},
}