Last year we reported that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik had been declared insane and unfit to stand trial. After much outcry from the Norwegian public, and from Breivik himself, the courts took a second look at the issue and unanimously declared him to be sane. The Age reports:
NORWEGIAN mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has been found sane and faces a prison sentence of more than 21 years.
The panel of five judges, led by Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen who read the judgment, declared their verdict to be unanimous. Breivik smiled briefly when he heard the news.…
Psychiatrists had been divided in their assessments of his mental state. The first court-appointed panel found him to be a paranoid schizophrenic but a second, while diagnosing several disorders, declared he would not have been psychotic at the time he committed the attacks.
The prosecution called for him to be sent to a psychiatric hospital.
Breivik himself said he was sane and demanded jail, the better to enhance what he saw as his status as a national hero, a right-wing cultural warrior defending his people against invasion. He therefore refused to plead guilty.
The court’s decision means there will be no appeal, a lawyer for Breivik, Geir Lippestad, having promised the gunman would not contest a jail sentence.
Back in December, we theorized that the insanity ruling against Breivik would circumvent a potentially thorny political issue: namely that the maximum sentence for any crime in Norway is 21 years. While that seems to be true, and that is the sentence handed down to Breivik, it seems that the Norwegian government can extend sentences indefinitely for any criminal they deem to be a threat to society. Much has been made of the “progressive” penal system of Norway, and how their focus is on rehabilitation with the understanding that their prisoners will eventually be released back into the community. However, it’s unlikely Breivik will see the light of day. His crimes are simply too great for him to ever be released. Even if in 21 years he was completely reformed he has done too much damage and hurt too many people to ever be allowed to walk free again. Is it hypocritical to preach reform and enlightened prison sentences while locking Breivik up and throwing away the key? Yes. Is it sensible and in the best interests of the Norwegian people? Absolutely.
- Breivik declared sane and sentenced to 21 years (guardian.co.uk)
- Breivik Declared Sane, Sentenced to 21-Years Jail (foxnews.com)
- Anders Breivik Declared Sane and Will Head to Prison (theatlanticwire.com)
- Norway sentences Breivik to 21 years in prison (secularnewsdaily.com)
- Breivik found sane, sentenced to 21 years (smh.com.au)
- Anders Behring Breivik’s prison: Ila near Oslo (bbc.co.uk)
- Norwegian Mass Murderer, Anders Breivik Declared Insane (intentious.com)