Murder (Swedish law)

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For a general discussion of the law of murder, see murder.

In Sweden, the following degrees of murder apply:[1]

  • Murder (Mord) is defined as a planned taking a life of another, and punishable with imprisonment between 10 and 18 years or life imprisonment. (3-1 § of the Penal Code)
  • Manslaughter (Dråp) is defined as murder when it is less severe, either due to the circumstances or the crime itself, and is punishable with a fixed prison term between 6 and 10 years. (3-2 §)
  • Infanticide (Barnadråp) is murder committed by a mother on her child "when, owing to her confinement, she is in a disturbed mental state or in grave distress", punishable with any prison term up to 6 years. (3-3 §)
  • Negligent homicide (Vållande till annans död, literally causing another's death) is murder committed due to carelessness. For negligent homicide, there are three types of punishments:
    1. A fine (day-fines) if the crime is petty,
    2. Any prison term up to 2 years, or
    3. Any prison term between 6 months and 6 years if the crime is gross. Gross negligence is distinguished by "the taking of a considerable risk leading to the death, or driving a motor vehicle under influence leading to the death". (3-7 §)

Any person under 21 (but not under the age of 15) is sentenced as a ratio of what an adult would receive. For the purposes of this equation a life sentence equals 20 years. The ratio, based on age, starting at 15 going to 20 is; 1/5, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4. This results in a maximum penalty of, in years, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14 (arbitrarily limited). Furthermore, people under 15 may be convicted of crimes, but not subject to legal punishment.

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