Leif Axmyr, 74, has been in prison since January 7th, 1983 when he was remanded in custody for killing two people in Gävle, eastern Sweden.
Six months later he was convicted for the double murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The previous year, he had murdered his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend with a crowbar and a knife in an attack described by the district court as “completely reckless”.
Since he also set fire to the apartment where the killings took place, Axmyr was also convicted of arson.
On Monday, however, the Örebro District Court in central Sweden ruled that Axmyr’s sentence should be limited to 51 years, meaning he would be eligible for early release in 2016 after serving 34 years, or two-thirds of his sentence.
During his three decades behind bars, Axmyr, described by tabloid Expressen as Sweden’s “most dangerous” criminal, has also been convicted of making illegal threats, drug crimes, and bribery.
In May 2010, the Örebro court ruled Axmyr’s sentence could be reduced to 46 years and six months, but the ruling was thrown out by the court of appeal, which argued there was a concrete risk that he would commit additional serious crimes after his release.
According to the District Court’s new ruling, Axmyr’s history of drug abuse and his explosive temper shouldn’t be ignored, but that he has become considerably calmer after being diagnosed with a bipolar disorder for which he is now receiving medication.
A great deal of time has passed since he last ran afoul of prison rules and he’s also enrolled in a treatment programme in order to ease his adjustment back into society.
The court believes Axmyr, who will mark his 75th birthday on Tuesday, will need three years in order to adjust to life outside of prison.