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Mass murderer could be released in five years

TT/AFP/The Local · 7 Jul 2010, 11:47

Published: 07 Jul 2010 11:47 GMT+02:00

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Flink was originally sentenced to life in prison for seven murders and three attempted murders in Falun in 1994.

Flink's attorney Johan Eriksson said Flink was "dazed but very happy" after hearing the news.

"He did not believe it at first," Eriksson told news agency TT on Flink's reaction. "Mattias had hoped so much for this. Now he can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel," adding Flink could be conditionally released in August 2015.

That it was 32 years instead of 24, which is the maximum penalty for multiple murders following the Supreme Court's practice, does not surprise Eriksson. At the same time, he believes that it is a long sentence.

Flink himself did not react negatively to the fact that he will not be freed for another five years.

"He accepts it and does not think that it is tough. He had hoped for something sooner," said Eriksson.

He emphasised that Flink, now 40, has been in prison for 16 years. Under the principle of release after two-thirds of the total sentence, Flink will serve 21 years in jail in total.

John-Erik Mårdner, whose 29-year-old daughter Lena was shot to death by Flink, reacted strongly to the news of the time-limited punishment.

"Imagine if your child was murdered and then you learn that the child's killer will be released. How do you think it feels?" he asked TT.

Mårdner believes that the decision is wrong. Flink is sentenced to life and should be in prison for life, he said.

"He killed seven people in cold blood," he said. "We relatives are serving a life sentence. We have to live with this for the rest of our lives."

The district court has decided not to follow the Supreme Court's practice, under which culpability for murder receives between 18 and 24 years in prison. The punishment is higher partly because the law is based on the seriousness of each individual indictment.

However, the district court has referred to the Supreme Court's life sentence, in which a mitigating factor in Flink's case was that he could not control his actions due to psychosis.

The court also assessed Flink's risk of relapse and said that he "did what he could to promote his adaptation to society." The court is of the opinion that he has demonstrated exemplary behaviour.

Story continues below…

Flink has been granted more than 30 leaves from prison with accommodation since May 2007. The court wrote in its decision that the leaves have taken place without Flink misbehaving.

As such, the court believes that it is unlikely that Flink, who has shown exemplary behaviour up until now, would suddenly start to violate his conditions. Consequently, the court has ventured to set a fixed prison sentence of 32 years even though he cannot be released for another five years from now.

This was Flink's second application to convert his life sentence to a fixed penalty. The first was rejected in 2008 by both the district and appeals courts because they considered that the penalty value for the crimes was too high to be converted. Flink then appealed to the Supreme Court, but in the autumn of 2009, the court decided not to grant him a new trial.

Flink was 24 in June 1994 when he shot seven people to death and injured three others shots in the vicinity of Dalregementet in Falun, where he was stationed and held the rank of second lieutenant in the armed forces.

He had earlier argued with his girlfriend and was heavily intoxicated when he fired 51 rounds from his military-issued AK5 rifle, killing five women and two men aged 20 to 35 in a park in the centre of town.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:19 July 7, 2010 by pjtaipale
So, you people in Sweden are up to incidents like this one (in Finland) as well:


A murderer, convicted to life in prison for executing his wife and wounding two others, is released after 12 years, because "that's the way it usually goes", and a few months later he shoots three people over a petty quarrel at a McDonald's drive-in queue. And what do the officials in Finland propose? A ban for all handguns (although the shooter was using an illegally obtained gun in the first place)...

I have a simpler proposal. Make murder illegal.
13:01 July 7, 2010 by reason
If he's not deemed dangerous, then there's no reason to waste his time and our money on keeping him locked up.
13:15 July 7, 2010 by cattie
All these people who have designed and implement criminal justice in this country have been weaned on the ideas of environmental determinism. For people in this philosophical bubble, murder is forgiveable and even understandable. Perhaps if we are nice he will go away.
13:35 July 7, 2010 by Puffin
This was a very controversial case that went all the way up to the Supreme Court for the final judgement - he was found to have a mental illness at the time of the crime yet there were long discussions concerning whether his sentence should be prison or foresic psychiatric treatment

Mattias Flink had long term mental health problems and voluntarily sought psychiatric help in the months prior to the crime during the spring of 1994 after suffering some form of breakdown manifesting itself paranoia and agrressive behaviour. The Army failed to react and did not for example remove his access to weapons
13:41 July 7, 2010 by calebian22
All those who think he is cured should offer to rent him a room sleeping next to their children's room upon his release. If he is zero risk, there should be no problem, right?
13:52 July 7, 2010 by cattie
I think it is tragic that the military and mental heathcare professionals handled his situation with denial and lagom slowness. They should be held to civil damages as well.

Nevertheless, the fact that the authorities failed in their responsiblity to protect public safety does make the murderer himself any less of a danger to society.
15:01 July 7, 2010 by kenny8076
i wonder what ''REASON'' will post on here in 2015 if he gets out and kills someone else? hoping its not you that gets it from him. im sorry for all the swedish nuts but rehabilitate from Vehicular manslaughter, accidentally killing someone fine, lol but dont come on here and tell people he is ok after murdering 7 humans and trying to kill 3 more, what in the H¤%"/ is wrong with people over here!! Thank you CALEBIAN for having a brain bigger than your heart, it will get you farther in life!!
15:13 July 7, 2010 by CDRoth
Were I Swedish (and most of you are probably relieved that is only my ancestry) I would request this person be housed next door to your judicial officers. It appears that offending a minority is a crime equivalent to mass murder there.
15:39 July 7, 2010 by G Kin
Well, a mass murderer to be released?. Will his victims come back too?.

OK everyone, get your hammers and bass ball bats ready. Five years from now, we just need to know the date and time.

We wait for him at the prison gate :(
16:09 July 7, 2010 by ironman294
so he i sno longer crazy? Give me a break, if someone is mentally ill at one time, once he forgets to take his meds, he will kill again. WHy not just have the death penalty and get it over with and save the taxpayers money.
17:22 July 7, 2010 by l33tshane
21 years for 7 murders...whats wrong with the swedish courts?
17:39 July 7, 2010 by nightwish
One can only hope that this person called REASON who has commented on this subject has someone they care about murdered.See then if they are happy about having that killer walking the streets again.
17:43 July 7, 2010 by mkvgtired
@l33tshane, Correction: 21 years for 7 murders and 3 attempted murders.
19:06 July 7, 2010 by eppie

I wonder what you will post here when again somebody gets murdered by some lunatic that was looking for help but nobody would care.

You have an american way of thinking.....just punish a murderer with life sentence or death penalty, turn around and continue sleeping...and the next time it happens again you post another angry comment about that prison sentences should be longer without wanting to think about what causes these kind of things.
20:39 July 7, 2010 by hjoian
i get bored reading about how this man has suffered.......you people who have never had a loved one taken from you in this way will never know the life sentence that these people pass on to the families. Let me hear you defend a man who kidnaps,rapes then murders your sister,and tell me how happy you are that he will serve just a few years in prison. Strewth......
21:22 July 7, 2010 by wxman
He's no longer dangerous. He killed the people he wanted to and is now finished. Makes sense to me!
23:20 July 7, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
I wonder if he is going to play for the Vikings this fall...
02:15 July 8, 2010 by double concerto
I wonder how many people he will murder when he is let loose again, perhaps he'll go for a double up to fourteen before he is taken in again to cool off and get his breath back, before yet another release to kill by the o so nice loony libs.
09:07 July 8, 2010 by eppie
Yeah the swedes are so stupid. I mean they know that when you have death penalty and life imprisonment there will be no more crime. Just like in the US. Everybody is nice to eachother there, and I even heard they fired all policemen! Because they are not necesarry anymore because having very harsh punishments really helps.

ps however I agree that it is a bit strange that this guy is freed. He will never be a normal memeber of society anymore, and the costs of checking up on him and giving him welfare will be higher than the costs of keeping him in jail.
09:37 July 8, 2010 by Mib
Prison serves many purposes. The first and most important is to threaten to take away someones freedom if they break a serious law and in principal that works as the vast majority of people don't break the serious laws. Secondly, it is used to take serious criminals off the street to PROTECT the public. Finally, the intention, which is not really pushed due o resources, is to try and reform some of these criminals,so that they do not break the law again.

BUT...there is a tiny number of people that are so crazy, so brutal etc that prison or a secure mental institution is the only answer. To allow someone who must have been crazy to have killed 7 people to regain their freedom is unjust and will put people at unnecessary risk. Just imagine that this guy will probably be attacked and unlikely to get a job or make any real friends. SO, he will become more isolated and in turn may ignite his inner madness to attempt another murder. The cost to the tax payer is high as he will need all kinds of benefits, which he never contributed to via taxes, but the human cost could be much, much higher.

For all those limp wristed people who suppot his early release, that is fine...he can come and live next door to you and in your community.
10:39 July 8, 2010 by Nachos
Wondering why this stoyr/thread is left up while the thread about the 2 brothers who tried to murder Vilks is pushed down?
11:34 July 8, 2010 by jwlundgren
from what I have seen in pictures, Swedish prison cells are nicer than most dorm rooms in the US. Why would he want to leave? Aren't all murderers 'mentally ill' at the time of their crimes?
13:29 July 8, 2010 by kenny8076
EPPIE lol what?!?! what are you talking about? yes it is an American way of thinking and you know why?!?!because we have the most crime in the world and we have studied crime and its behaviors more and better than any country in the world. Stats dont lie. repeat offenders are a high percentage, yes a small ammount do their time and rehabilitate, but a serial killer?!?! your a nut case. I Tell you what EPPIE, when he gets out it will be very hard for him to get a job and find a place to live, how about letting him stay with you and you help him find a job. Contribute to this great safe rehabilitation program you Swedes have. Lunatic!!
23:29 July 8, 2010 by mkvgtired
@eppie, you have a very "european" way of thinking. Every time someone commits a horrible atrocity you make excuses for them, be it their parents, teachers, Swedes themselves, or everyone's favorite; society. This guy KILLED 7 people and tried to KILL 3 more! You always want people to look into the "causes" of crimes like this, while you contribute zero resources to answering these questions. The reason Kenny would be sleeping more soundly is he would know that a mass murderer is locked away. It makes logical sense. But then again I can see how this is a harsh sentence in a country where 20 months is the norm for first degree murder. Or in the case of Scotland, releasing a terrorist that killed 270 people to a hero's welcome. He supposedly had less than three months to live, but is still alive and well almost one year later.
16:29 July 9, 2010 by Amerikat
If he had killed any in my family, I would pray for his release........vengeance is a dish best served cold..........
19:41 July 9, 2010 by Essjay
Bizarre , totally bizarre.

Where can he possibly live ,no-one would tolerate him in their community.

This sends out a very good message to potential murderers , play the game and you go free.

Same happens in the Uk not just Sweden where serious convicts have been granted early release.

If the officials who have approved this and have so much confidence they should allow him to stay with them and their families until he has settled down .
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