Norway’s gentle justice — for a mass murderer
April 19, 2012 12:01 AM | 1403 views | 5 5 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you’re a lunatic mass murderer, you couldn’t pick a much better venue for the crime than Norway.

That’s the lesson from the trial that began Monday in Oslo of Anders Breivik, who has admitted to killing eight people in a bomb blast in the capital’s downtown and, later that same day, 69 youngsters that he hunted down individually in a youth camp.

Breivik admits to the killings. He says he did them in self-defense.

He began the first day of his trial by asserting that he did not recognize the jurisdiction of the court because of the government’s support for multiculturalism and didn’t recognize one of the five judges because of her choice of friends.

He entered the court, according to one description, “smug and smiling” and favoring the court and the spectators with periodic clenched-fist salutes.

Breivik claims to be a resistance fighter in a far-right, white-supremacist group modeled after a Christian order that fought during the Crusades. As authorities have been able to determine so far, this group exists only in Breivik’s head.

Two groups of psychiatrists have examined that head, with the milder of the two diagnoses finding him a “paranoid psychotic schizophrenic” but still sane enough to stand trial. The other diagnosis said that if Breivik were ever released, he would be highly likely to commit similar massacres.

According to the London Daily Mail, Breivik, rather fittingly, is being held in a former Nazi concentration camp in isolation from the other prisoners because they would kill him given a chance.

His accommodations are considerably better than those accorded the original inmates. He has a “suite” of three 86-square-foot cells. (An inmate in a U.S. supermax prison typically gets a single 96-square-foot cell and stays in it 23 hours a day with little in the way of diversion.)

Breivik sleeps in one cell, works out in another that is equipped with exercise equipment and uses the third as an office. It has a computer but no Internet access. He has cable TV with access to 15 channels.

The trial is to last 10 weeks and will give Breivik ample opportunity to expand on his wing-nut views. To bolster his case — although it’s hard to see how — he will call radical Islamists and right-wing extremists to testify on his behalf.

If he is sentenced to jail time, he will likely serve his sentence in a prison that sounds like a country club even by Norwegian penal standards, according to the Daily Mail — private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs in the bedrooms, personal trainers, even a recording studio and a climbing wall. Such is “punishment” when liberal standards of justice are in force.

He has told his defense lawyer his only regret was that the death toll from his killing spree wasn’t higher.

If he is convicted, the 33-year-old Breivik faces a maximum sentence of 21 years, just a little over three months per victim.
Comments
(5)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
just da facts ma'am
|
April 21, 2012
Another ridiculous right wing rant by this editorial board....in this case a rant against the (relatively less harsh) criminal justice system used by Norwegians to manage civilian life in their country...as compared to the almost limitless extremes of self-righteous justice doled out in our country.

So, what does our hard-headed justice deliver compared to Norway ? Take a look...

Rates of homicide per 100,000 (and global rank):

-US 4.8 per 100K (ranked 34th)

-Norway 0.68 per 100K (ranked 58th)

So, it would appear you are about 10 times LESS likely to be the victim of murder in Norway than in the US. "Gentle justice" -- perhaps, but at least it shows some effectiveness.

good grief
|
April 21, 2012
"Brevik admits to the killings. He said he did it in self defense". I believe him, the 8 killed in the bombing and the 69 killed at the youth camp were all wearing hoodies, had their hand in their waistband, were wearing baggy pants and acting suspicious! Why would he not feel threatened?
paguyinatl
|
April 19, 2012
So don't move to Norway. They have their justice system, we have ours. Which works better? Hmmmmm, just how many times do you hear about multiple shootings in Norway, and how many times do you hear about them here? Seems to me their "liberal" society has some things going for it.
otter357
|
April 19, 2012
Yeah "What the1?" i saw that.

I think we are being invited to be outraged by the humane conditions afforded Breivik in liberal Norway

"Such is "punishment" when liberal standards of justice are in force"

"That's the lesson from the trial that began Monday in Oslo..."

What the!?
|
April 19, 2012
I fail to see the purpose of this piece.

Is it meant to stir the pudding and cause us to respond contemptuously?

Is it meant to spark a comparative discussion?

In this piece, nothing comparatively "gentle" was mentioned beyond describing the living conditions.

The writer failed to outline the truly, and to some of us, shockingly, "gentle" aspects of the legal process in Norway.

For example:

No mention of prosecutors as well as the lawyers for some of the victims cordially shaking hands with the defendant on the first day of the trial.

No mention of the possible maximum sentence: If found sane, Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence.

Odd indeed.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides