« NAACP gets behind marijuana legalization inititative in Colorado | Main | Did elderly child porn downloader seek to "retire" in federal prison? »

August 24, 2012

"21-Year Sentence For Norwegian Killer Of 77; But He May Serve For Life"

The title of this post is the headline of this NPR report on the sentencing in Norway of Anders Breivik. I selected this piece to link on the blog because it provided a seemingly more accurate (and reassuring?) headline than some other press accounts which perhaps suggest Breivik could be a free man within a decade.   Here is how NPR explains matters:

At first the news may be a shock because of what would seem to Americans to be such a relatively light punishment considering the crime: Anders Behring Breivik, the "self-styled anti-Muslim militant" who killed 77 people in Norway on July 22, 2011, was sentenced today by a five-judge panel in Oslo to a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 21 years, as The Associated Press reports.  Twenty-one years is the most Norwegian law would allow. There is no death penalty in Norway.

But, the wire service adds: "Such sentences can be extended as long as an inmate is considered too dangerous to be released.  Legal experts have said that in Breivik's case that could mean he will spend the rest of his life in prison."  The Norway Post puts it this way: the prison sentence can be "prolonged at a later date, five years at a time, if he is deemed to remain a danger to society."

Part of today's ruling also focused on the issue of whether Breivik is sane enough to be held criminally responsible for the slaughter.  The court concluded he is.  On Morning Edition today, New York Times correspondent Alan Cowell said the verdict and sentence is something of a victory for Brevik because he did not want to be declared insane.  "If he'd been found insane, he could have been treated indefinitely," Cowell said.  Also, in Breivik's mind the sanity judgment lends credibility to his crimes.

Recent related post:

August 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e201774450c829970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "21-Year Sentence For Norwegian Killer Of 77; But He May Serve For Life":

Comments

There is a lively death penalty going on all over Europe despite any hypocrisy or superciliousness of Euro fops.

Before a few years pass, Breivik will have committed "suicide."

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 26, 2012 12:12:20 AM

SC --

He's more likely to kill other prisoners than be killed by them. The man enjoys killing and is, to say the least, experienced at it.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 26, 2012 9:17:30 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB