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CRIME

Woman ordered husband to kill daughter

A 30-year-old woman has been jailed for ten years for persuading her husband to murder his own three-year-old daughter.

The little girl was killed by her father in a forest near the town of Värnamo seven years ago. He initially claimed that she drowned, but a postmortem found that her back had been broken.

The father, then 24, pleaded not guilty to the murder, but was convicted and sent to a secure psychiatric hospital, where he remains today.

Police suspected at the time that the girl’s stepmother was involved in the killing, but she was never charged due to lack of evidence. The case was reopened in the spring, however, after the father claimed that his wife ordered him to kill his daughter. The woman allegedly believed that her stepdaughter was hampering her relationship with her husband.

According to court documents, the woman had pushed her husband consistently over a one year period to kill his daughter. Jönköping District Court said the father “would never have killed his daughter if [his wife] hadn’t challenged him to do so.”

The woman was found guilty of solicitation to murder. The court’s sentence of ten years was less than the prosecution had wanted – they had demanded she serve life behind bars. She was also ordered to pay almost 200,000 kronor in damages to the girl’s mother.

She has a previous conviction for serious assault, for which she was jailed for 18 months in 2008.

The woman has consistently contested the charges against her. Her lawyer, Leif Silbersky, said she would appeal. The court had given far too much credence to the father’s account, he said.

Only five people have been convicted of solicitation to murder in Sweden between 1990 and 2009. In 90 percent of the 2,000 murder cases since 1990 the murderer has acted alone.

“It is very unusual to plan and recruit accomplices. Violent crimes often happen on the spur of the moment. It is possible that there are unsolved murders in the criminal underworld and honour killings where people are guilty of soliciting, but it is hard to prove,” said Mikael Ryning at the University of Central Sweden.

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POLITICS

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

Sweden's Christian Democrats have called for tougher sentences for sex offenders and making release conditional on chemical castration.

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

The Swedish Christian Democrats (KD) leader has called for the chemical castration of certain sex offenders as part of plans for a tougher grip on sexual crime and punishment in Sweden.

Speaking to the Swedish parliament on July 1st, KD party leader Ebba Busch said, “Every day, 27 rapes are reported. How many days must pass before the government takes action?”

“Today we propose that rapists and people who commit sexual crimes against children should be able to be chemically castrated.”

The controversial chemical castration proposal was the headline grabbing soundbite in a broader set of proposals to recalibrate the structure of Sweden’s sexual crime sentencing.

Among KD’s proposed sentencing changes is a life sentence for the aggravated rape of a child, the removal of automatic conditional release for sex offenders, and an increase in the sentence for aggravated rape up to a maximum of 25 years.

In addition, they want a “monitoring period” for convicts who have been released, equivalent to one third of the sentence served.

They also want to establish a national knowledge centre for sexual violence where people who feel that they have “problematic sexuality” can receive support. The center must also “be able to administer chemical castration on a voluntary basis to those who are concerned about unwanted sexual thoughts and impulses and have a compulsive sexuality”.

READ ALSO: What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Chemical castration, she suggested, should be implemented as a condition of release for some sexual offenders. “It may mean that if a person like Nytorgsmannen is to be able to become a free man, a chemical castration must have taken place before the release,” Busch said, referring to Andreas Holm, a man sentenced in 2021 for 35 different crimes including 24 rapes.

But this is not the first time the Christian Democrats have toyed with the idea of chemical castration as a form of legal punishment. As far back as 20 years ago, under former leader Alf Svensson, the right-wing party raised the idea of conditional chemical castration of rapists and pedophiles.

At the time the proposal was rejected by all other parties.

Chemical castration, the process of preventing sex hormone production through chemicals, can reduce sexual libido but the effects on those with deviant behaviours are relatively unknown.

Chemical castration can also prove costly as it is not a one-off treatment but rather requires regular interventions, which means the police would be reliant on those sentences to chemical castration making regular trips to the authorities for further treatment.

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