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Barnamord i Värmland Lag och rättspraxis i tre misstänkta barnamordsfall i 1800-talets Värmland: Lag och rättspraxis i tre misstänkta barnamordsfall i 1800-talets Värmland
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Infanticide in Varmland : Law and how they are implemented in three suspected cases of infanticide in  Varmland during the 1800s (English)
Abstract [en]

This essay treats three cases of women who were suspected for infanticide. The essay is structured as an in-depth study of cases based on Foucault’s theory on power. The purpose is to study the conditions during the 19th century, with focus on the injustice code of conduct in suspected cases of infanticide in Varmland and what level of punishment was given in court in relation to the law.

 

Compared to earlier research, this research has a deeper analysis of what factors are considered harsh and mild. Cases of infanticide have not been so extensive researched, with some exceptions. Frida Karlsson, who studies female crimes, one of the cases is a study of infanticide from the year 1850. The result shows that the women were not convicted harsher because of their gender, rather that financial difficulties could cause criminal activities. Even in my research, financial issues can be a contributing factor for murder, for example in Betty's case who was convicted for poisoning and homicide.

Eva Bergenlov, who portrays infanticide laws and cases from the 17th century and onwards, she sees a change. The change goes from harsh punishments to female child murderers up to the end of the 18th century, which afterwards become milder. This also shows in the changes that were made to the infanticide laws.

 

Other sign of when female child murderers were treated milder was Betty’s verdict in 1841, which changed from the death penalty to a life sentence in a penitentiary, which lead to her release 13 years later. Another result shows that the court convicted women only in extreme cases when their crime is at the top of the crime scale, despite having done different types of crimes. For example, Christina’s constant lying in court lead a harsher punishment than what the laws for child murder looked like during 1860’s.

 

This follows Foucault’s power theory that describes the prisoners’ subordinate position in relation to the judging entity. The opposite happens in Emma Kristina’s case when her judgement was milder towards the end of the 19th century. The court chooses to believe that the murder was not intentional, that she did not murder her child on purpose and she was convicted of intentionally hiding the child.

Abstract [sv]

Denna uppsats behandlar tre barnamordsmisstänkta kvinnor. Uppsatsens utformning görs i form av en djupstudie av rättsfall med utgångspunkt i Foucaults maktteori. Syftet är att studera förhållandet under 1800-talet med fokus på rättspraxis i misstänkta fall av barnamord i Värmland sett till bestraffningsgrad i domsluten i relation till lagstiftningen. Jämfört med tidigare forskning går denna undersökning djupare in på de faktorer som verkar försvårande och förmildrande.

 

Rättspraxis i barnamordsfall är tämligen outforskat. Undantagsfall utgörs av Frida Karlsson, som studerar kvinnliga brott, bl.a. ett barnamordsfall från 1850-talet. Resultat visar att kvinnorna inte dömdes hårdare p.g.a.  kön men att försörjningssvårigheterna kunde utlösa brottsliga handlingar. Även i min undersökning, i fallet Betty, som slutligen döms för förgiftning och dråp, kan ekonomiska faktorer verka som en bidragande faktor till mordet. Även Eva Bergenlöv skildrar barnamordslagar och rättspraxis från 1600-talet och framåt. Hon ser en förändring från hårda straff för barnamörderskor fram till 1700-talets slut, därefter blir tillämpningen allt mer förmildrande, vilket även framgår av lagändringarna. Andra tecken på mildhet i Bettys dom 1841 är omvandlingen från dödsstraff till livstids tukthus, följt av frigivning 13 år senare. Ytterligare resultat visar att rätten dömer kvinnorna, trots olika brottsrubriceringar, enbart i ytterst försvårande fall dömer högt upp på straffskalan, exempelvis vid upprepade lögner vilket gör Christinas straff något längre än praxis för barnamord på 1860-talet. Vilket går i linje med Foucaults maktteori som beskriver fångens underordnade ställning till den dömande instansen. Det omvända sker i Emma Kristinas fall från 1800-talets slut som döms milt. Rätten väljer att tro på mordet som ouppsåtligt, och hon döms för att avsiktligt lagt fostret å lönn. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-40731OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-40731DiVA, id: diva2:907335
Subject / course
History
Educational program
Secondary Education Programme: Upper-Secondary School: Swedish (330 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-03-08 Created: 2016-02-27 Last updated: 2016-03-08Bibliographically approved

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