Under current rules, courts have only two sentencing options for people convicted of murder – ten years in prison or a lifetime sentence.
The government felt the current guidelines didn’t provide adequate flexibility in determining sentences and thus introduced a proposal to add an additional step, a time-limited sentence of 18 years in prison.
The bill approved by the Riksdag maintains a minimum time-limited sentence of 10 years, however, while life sentences are to remain for only the most serious cases.
The measure also allows 18-year prison sentence for other serious crimes such as serious arson, sabotage, spying, kidnapping, and terror crimes, as well as for repeated serious offences.
The new rules also increase the maximum allowable sentence for crimes committed before one’s 21st from 10 years to 14 years in prison.
The new law is set to take effect on July 1st, 2009.