Crime & Justice

Time Limits on Murder Cases Removed

Following a new law clubbed through the Swedish parliament on Wednesday, the prescriptive periods of a number of serious crimes have been removed altogether. Until now, even the most serious of crimes were written off after 25 years. But after the new law takes effect on July 1 this year, murder, manslaughter, crimes against humanity, and genocide will no longer have a statute of limitations.

As a result, the February 1986 assassination of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme will continue to be investigated, as will Sweden’s only unsolved police murder—the shooting death Leif Widengren in Stockholm in 1992.

The parliament motivated its decision in part by describing that advances in forensic techniques—especially in DNA technology—have made it increasingly possible to solve crimes committed long ago.

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