Annika Östberg moves closer to release

Annika Östberg Deasy, who was found guilty in 1981 of being an accessory to two murders in California and spent 27 years in a US prison, has taken a step closer to her release after a decision by Sweden's Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården).

The service has announced that Östberg Deasy, who was repatriated to Sweden in April 2009, can be given a date for her release and thus commence the process to prepare her for reintegration into society.

“Based on information over the case of Annika Östberg and her, in Swedish terms, long prison sentence, the service adjudges that the life sentence can be limited in time,” the service wrote in its submission to Örebro District Court, which will rule on her sentence.

Östberg Deasy is reported to have adapted well to prison life in Sweden and has completed the so-called 12 step programme successfully.

She has managed to prepare for an eventual release by developing contacts with societal groups, among others the employment cooperative Basta.

The prisons service will now set up a programme for Östberg Deasy to follow to ensure the successful transition to free society whenever that time may come.

Östberg Deasy was convicted of being an accessory to two murders, including that of a policemen, in 1981. Her defence has long maintained that as it was her boyfriend, Brian Cox, who fired the shots, the penalty served against her has been unduly harsh.

According to accepted praxis in Sweden a convict is released after two-thirds of the sentence has been completed.

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