Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kill a Man in Sweden, Serve 10 Years

Earlier in the summer a fight broke out in a bar near Stockholm. After the fight had settled down a man returned with a knife and killed another man. The man in question was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison and he also has to pay a fine of $75,000. That’s it. That’s all another man’s life is worth. Ten years and $75,000.

Clearly, if the man returned to the fight, after the fight had calmed down, with a large knife he had time to think about what he was doing. He had time to calm down. Time to think, “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t go back to the bar and stab someone, instead I’ll make a frozen pizza.” I love frozen pizza when I’m drunk. This would have been a much better solution. That obviously didn’t happen. You would think then that this man would pay dearly for what he did. Nope. Now $75,000 is a decent amount of money. I don’t have that kind of money to throw around. Of course, I didn’t kill anyone, but had I killed someone, I would expect to pay a lot more money. I think anyone would like to think their life is worth more than $75,000.

To suggest that a small fine and 10 years in prison is enough of a punishment for murder is asinine. The Swedish justice system blows my mind. Criminals are put away for grave offenses, murder, rape, child molestation and then are let out just a few years later. Life in prison here in Sweden tends to mean 12 years. Maybe a couple years extra if you’re an ass while in prison. That’s not life. If that were the case I’ve almost lived two lives. I’m amazing.

In another recent case, a Scottish man came to Sweden and ran up a huge bill (nearly $20,000) at a fancy restaurant in Stockholm then refused to pay. He was more than happy to go to prison here in Sweden and in fact asked to be taken to jail. Turns out he was a known sex offender in Scotland. Turns out that the guy is going to plead guilty and actually wants to serve his prison term here in Sweden. Now I know I gave you all kinds of articles but they all have just a little something extra in them. In the last one, as reported by The Local, the man’s lawyer was asked why he wanted to stay in prison, to which the lawyer simply gave no comment. Hmmmm. Now I have a few ideas. One of them being that he has something going on in Scotland and decided he’d should probably get out of there for a while. Or maybe he was just tired of paying for his own food, his own rent, his own bills, and so he did a little research, saw how cushy jail was in Sweden and came up with this plan. Genius really.

Well, here’s the thing. If I were in charge of any sort of prison system in Sweden I would see this as an insult. I don’t want the criminals from all over Europe deciding that this is a good place to commit crimes because even if they get caught, life is good in jail. While prison should help reform people, it should also be scary enough that it is seen as a deterrent to crime. This isn’t happening in Sweden. Murderers are spending 10 years in jail, and criminals outside of Sweden are coming here to commit crimes so they can go to jail here instead of their own countries. That’s not good. In the US the death penalty is still in use and life in prison means life in prison. Not a decade. Some people even get multiple life sentences, which might seem silly since you can’t have more than one life. But, as we already discussed earlier, when life is only 12 years you can have a few of them. The Americans are just covering themselves in case someone lives a little too long for just one life sentence. Better safe than sorry.

I’m all for people spending a whole lot of time in jail for killing someone. The sentences here in Sweden just aren’t long enough. Welcome to Sweden, a liberal land where you can kill a man at 20 and be out before you even hit your mid-30s.

For those of you just dying to know what the Scottish fellow spent his money on here is the bill, again from the wonderful reporting at The Local.


  1. maybe you remember how badly saddam hussein asked to be incarcerated in sweden's prison facility instead? prison here is no different from student rooms in terms of size and functionality. all amenities are basically there. internet connection, private tv, etc. it is a friggin' vacation man!

  2. Mindboggling. I just don't get it. Grante you're locked up, but still, it sounds like you've still got a whole lot of amenities.

  3. Det var väl bara tjejer som anmälde sig? :)

  4. I agree it's insane. The length of jail terms and the conditions in the jails is no deterrant at all.

    I have to say ne thing though. If the Scot had committed a crime in Scotalnd and was wanted by the police or even tried in his absence then beeing in a Swedish jail wouldn't help as Britain would just extradite him.

  5. The Swedes definitely need help with the justice system.

    Thats a great point about the crimes in Scottish. Extradition is definitely something I didn't even think of. Good catch.

  6. Ok, so how many murders in sweden compared to the US per capita?
    The prisons in sweden tries to rehabilitate prisoners and integrate to society. It's not vengeance for the victims family. That clearly doesent work. Look up the differences in amount of crime between Sweden, The US and other european countries.

  7. I believe the us has a murder rate that is about twice that of swedens.

    its just somewhat frightening that people want tocome to prison in sweden rather than their own country.

    plus, to be perfectly honest, I believe that prison shouldnt just be about rehabilitation but also about pnishment. and I just dont think the swedish system focuses enogh on that aspect.

  8. kill a person with your car in the US– you can get away with absolutely no jail, especially if you killed a cyclist. I call THAT crazy!