A man who was convicted for murder and sentenced to life in prison was recently hanging out on Kungsholmen. You may find it strange that a man supposedly imprisoned for life was hanging out on the very island which I ran around twice in a row to complete a solid half marathon. Let me remind you though, this is Sweden.
The Swedish justice system has a very interesting take on life in prison. And crime in general. They believe that everyone can be saved. That there are no bad people. That we will all one day sit around the camp fire and sing Kumbaya and hold hands.
Then a man who is serving life in prison is hanging out on his regular furlough and murders someone. Furlough is the fancy word that The Local used to report this story. An interesting little tidbit, look for synonyms of furlough in Microsoft Word and you’ll see that vacation pops up. Awesome. Because murderers definitely need vacations. Hell, the average Swedish worker gets about five weeks of it. The average murderer should get a piece of that pie too.
I do not like the Swedish justice system. Things like this happen just enough to make me think twice about the effectiveness. Like the guy downloading over two million pictures of child pornography for nearly twenty years who received only six months in prison. Or the convicted murderer who escaped while on a field trip during the busy Christmas shopping period.
But this one might take the cake. Because a convicted murderer sentenced to life in prison, killed another person while on vacation.
Surprisingly, it gets better. Because our convicted murdered had been on such good behavior, Gunnar Brodin recommended that life be shortened to 21 years. He had already spent 13 years in prison. Which is a pretty solid amount of time to spend in prison, but it is a lot less than life. Our good friend, Gunnar Brodin, whoo recommended the prisoner have his sentence shortened and be allowed out on field trips, says he won’t take any responsibility for what happened. Apparently, the prisoner had been going out on regular furloughs for a few years now. Awesome.
Mr. Brodin (just pretend you’re reading the Financial Times with the Mr. in front of his name) did however, admit that allowing the murderer our on the streets was “a poor decision.” In other news, puppies are cute, grass is green, and the Red Wings suck. No shit Mr. Brodin.
I don’t even know where to begin. It is just asinine to allow this sort of thing to happen. Fine, you want to treat the criminal and rehabilitate him. Fine. But do not allow this person to wander around Stockholm, uninhibited, until you are damn sure he really is rehabilitated. Because, just guessing, just thinking he is, is not ok.
Welcome to Sweden. Where Mr. Brodin is a head prosecutor making decisions with the support of the Swedish justice system.