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Infanticide in Sweden: from condemnation to (too much?) consideration

Infanticide in Sweden: from condemnation to (too much?) consideration

Kaspersson, Maria (2023) Infanticide in Sweden: from condemnation to (too much?) consideration. In: Brennan, Karen and Milne, Emma, (eds.) 100 Years of the Infanticide Act: Legacy, Impact and Future Directions. Bloomsbury Publishing - Hart Publishing, Oxford, pp. 219-244. ISBN 978-1509961641; 150996164X

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There has been an infanticide crime in Sweden since the sixteenth century. In the past 100 years, it was first included in the 1864 Penal Law and called child murder. Today infanticide, now called child manslaughter, is covered by the 1965 Criminal Code and is considered less serious and punished less harshly than manslaughter. It covers any mother who kills her new-born child and who is in a ‘disturbed state of mind or severe distress on account of giving birth to the child’. In the past one hundred years infanticide have increasingly been seen as the result of mitigating factors, whether social or psychological, committed by someone in distress in one way or another, and therefore they usually receive psychiatric care rather than being sentenced to imprisonment. Whether infanticide constitutes a mitigated killing is debated, but there is also a difference between theory and practice. This chapter will look at the legal development and enforcement of the 1965 Criminal Code and highlight some of the issued in the legal debate.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: infanticide, neonaticide, Sweden, child manslaughter, punishment, severe mental disturbance
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2023 14:28

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