Taxi murderer yearns for freedom after 26 years
More than a quarter century after being sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a taxi driver, Seth Sethsen Nielsen has once again asked to be paroled.
But in order for the 57-year-old Greenlander to be released, prosecutor Zlatan Tajic has demanded that Nielsen submit to psychological testing, something he has refused to do.
“Why should I speak with the psychiatrists once more? The prison service doesn’t listen to what they say anyways,” Nielsen told Politiken newspaper. “They interpret things themselves and say that I am dangerous and crazy. No one can trust a system like that.”
Nielsen’s tenure as a free man came to a bloody end in the Copenhagen suburb of Albertslund on 19 October 1985, when he shot and killed 49-year-old taxi driver Kurt Gaarn-Larsen during a robbery.
Life sentences in Denmark are on average commuted after 17 years, and Nielsen’s 26 years behind bars makes him the second-longest currently serving prisoner in Denmark. He was last denied parole in December of 2011 because he was deemed to be dangerous. He has been denied parole six times earlier.
Tajic argued that a cannabis addiction and violence against fellow prisonsers are ample evidence that Nielsen poses a danger and should remain locked up.
“Without a danger assesment and accompanying mental examination parole is not justifiable,” Tajic told Politiken.
But Bjarne Fabech-Larsen, Nielsen's lawyer, believes that society has a responsibility to help his client, and if parole is denied once more, then he argued Nielsen should at least be able to meet with a social worker in prison.
“Prison guards are trained to keep people in prison, not help them get out. This isn’t the US, where people sit in prison for their entire life,” Fabech-Larsen told Politiken “Denmark and it’s public sector has a responsibility to come up with some initiatives so that inmates – whether they are in for a limited amount of time or for life – can get out of prison.”
The Glostrup Municipal Court is scheduled to decide next week whether Nielsen should remain behind bars.