Lawyer appeals Arboga murder conviction

The lawyer for Christine Schürrer, the 32-year-old German woman sentenced to life in prison for the killing of two toddlers in Arboga in central Sweden last spring, has appealed his client’s conviction.

Schürrer was found guilty on October 14 of bludgeoning to death a nearly four-year-old boy and his almost two-year-old sister and of trying to kill their mother in the central Swedish town of Arboga last March.

In a document filed with the regional Västmanland district court on Wednesday, Schürrer ‘s lawyer Per-Ingvar Ekblad appealed the verdict, charging it was invalid since one of the jurors had admitted to bias.

He called for the Swedish Appeals Court to “void the district court’s verdict and return the case to the district court for a new trial.”

One of the three jurors in the case, Cecilia Uggla, gave an interview to the Expressen tabloid at the end of the trial, saying she “has never really believed that she (Schürrer) is innocent.”

She was removed from the case, but Ekblad argued that Uggla’s statement indicated that she had been biased against his client from the beginning, which “goes against the presumption that the defendant is innocent until the opposite is proven.”

He also stressed that the case against his client rested on largely circumstantial evidence, and that no DNA traces, finger prints or other technical evidence linked her to the crime scene.

The court had acknowledged as much in its verdict, but found there was “substantial other evidence that points to her,” adding that she had been “in Arboga at the time of the crime and she has in the court’s opinion given false testimony about her visit to Arboga that day.”

The court also ruled a clear motive had been established.

The 23-year-old mother of the two murdered children, Emma Jangestig, is the live-in companion of a man Schürrer once dated.

The court ruled that several desperate actions by Schürrer leading up to the crime, including attempting to commit suicide and pretending to be pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby, proved she had not got over him and had a motive to attack his current companion and her family.


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime