Friday, August 24, 2012

21 Years?

Wait- no 'lock him up and throw away the key'? From CNN:
Anders Behring Breivik, the man who killed 77 people in a bomb attack and gun rampage just over a year ago, was judged to be sane Friday by a Norwegian court, as he was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Breivik, dressed in a dark suit and tie, had a slight smile on his face as the decision was given.
He was sentenced to the maximum possible term of 21 years and was ordered to serve a minimum of 10 years in prison. The time he has already spent in prison counts toward the term.
 Maximum? Of 21 years? Minimum of 10 years? What does a murderer in Norway get for killing one person? 6 weeks, minimum of 3 days?
Breivik's rampage, the worst atrocity on Norwegian soil since World War II, prompted much soul-searching. Norwegians reasserted their commitment to multiculturalism and tolerance at a series of mass public tributes held in the immediate aftermath of the massacre.

Norwegians might want to devote a little soul-searching on their punishments for mass murder. Life in prison without hope of parole, for instance. 21 years is an incredibly light slap on the wrist.


Doug said...

I heard on the news that after 21 years, his sentence can be extended periodically if, at that time, it appears he is still a danger to society.

If the goal of the criminal justice system is retribution, then I agree, this is too light. On the other hand, if it's to keep society safe and rehabilitate, two decades is a long time. He's 33 now. He'd be 54 when his initial sentence was up. Much as I'd think it was just to see this guy hang, a 54 year old person is potentially much different than his 33 year old counterpart.

Mike Kole said...

Can the kind of racist hatred that drives a man to kill 77 people be rehabilitated?

I'd say if he was 16 or 18, then maybe at best. At 33? How many people really walk from their world views held at 33? I'm skeptical of that

Doug said...

I have no idea. But, probably doesn't hurt anything to wait twenty years and see what's up with him at that point. I get that it seems insufficient for the magnitude of his atrocity, but this guy wouldn't have been deterred by life in prison or the death penalty. And twenty years really is a long time in an individual's life.