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Friday, 24 August 2012


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I've been listening to some of the local reports on all this. There is an overwhelming majority of people in Norway that wanted him declared sane today, precisely so that he can be locked away NOW. Breivik emphatically didn't want to be declared insane (because, of course, to his insane way of thinking, he is completely sane), and would have appealed an insanity ruling for months, years even. the wound would never have closed.

The judges are not "contemptible cowards", and you do them an injustice. There is a penal code, and they have to work to that code. In the same way, there is a maximum tariff in the UK for most crimes and, however egregious the circumstances of a crime, they can't take it into their heads to impose an 'ilegal' sentence. You have seen for yourself that, when a drunk driver kills a pregnant woman (for example), judges will bemoan the limitations which bind them.

This way, the case closes today. The families can grieve, and the fruitcake can be locked away to go stale in chokey for a couple of decades. There is no way that he will be released within 10 years. A pound to a penny says that he won't be let out in 2043, either, unless he is properly rehabilitated. The prison psychologists will be working him over, and he will be a rich seam for countless PhD theses over the decades. If he stays loony until 2043, a way will be found to protect the nation from his insanity.

I think Webwrights is correct, although I share the sense of outrage. The only good aspect of this case was the Norwegians taking Breivik through "due process", and thereby showing that barbarism has not won.

Having said that, a maximum of 21 years for murder is ridiculous, and the Norwegian legislators need to think about changing this. They have obviously had a peaceful time of it so far, and have had to deal with fewer evil people than we have. And there is also the fact that "prison psychosis" sets in after about ten years or so, I believe. Whatever state Breivik is in now, he will not be fit for release in 2033. Debates about whether he is mad will, by the end of his sentence, be academic.

Yes, 2033 of course. Perhaps wishful thinking had me adding the 10 years minimum to the 21 years maximum. Then again, perhaps I simply can't count.

Thanks, chaps, and please see my 'ADDITIONAL' up above.

"Twenty-one years is the maximum sentence for murder allowed under Norwegian law. Such sentences can, however, be extended as long as an inmate is considered too dangerous to be released."

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were given a 30-year tariff. Hindley wasn't released, and Brady won't be. Harry Roberts (him wot shot 3 cops) was given 30 years in ~1966, and is still inside. It's a racing certainty that, unless something astonishing happens in Breivik's addled brain, he won't be released in 2033; or, for that matter, 2043!

Personally, I would like to sever his spinal cord and leave him in a medically induced 'locked-in' condition for the rest of his life!

Forgive me, but it's at times like this I wonder why the death penalty is never an option anymore. Oh yes, there have been some apparent miscarriages in the past (but not as many as some would have us believe - getting off on questioning aged evidence, or on a technicality is not 'innocence' whatever they claim).

Is it better either for (I hate using the word) society? Is it any less 'torture' to confine someone, for a period and then extend it indefinitely? Would it not be better all round if someone(thing) like this (beyond any doubt, or claim, guilty of a heinous crime) should be quietly and efficiently shot (and buried in an unmarked grave)?

As to sentencing guidelines (both Norways, and let's be honest ours) I subscribe to the understanding proposed (by whom I can never remember) that a persons judgment as to how a specific crime should be punished is directly related to how feasible they see the possibility that they could commit it.

Eg. Can you see yourself, in extremis, stealing from a shop - if so, you would support a less severe punishment with many 'excuses' accepted as legitimate.

Can you ever see yourself deliberately raping/killing a child - no, therefore the support for nailing the 'particulars' of an animal (hands cuffed behind him of course) guilty of such a crime, to a table nailed to the floor of a wooden shed, and setting the shed alight, giving him the option of either pulling it off, or burning to death (if you're wondering, I found that description on a blog discussing the penalties for pedophiles and murderers - and there wasn't a single dissenting comment, who'd have thunk it?).

It does make you think about just what kind of people we have (politicians, judges and lawyers) making these lenient sentence guidelines, as they're patently unrepresentative of the rest of us.

That is rather sad and spineless of you David. I would use him as target practise for the troops. Targets up targets down.

Jimmy and Able, I am definitely sympathetic to the general thrust of your opinions but I have calmed down somewhat from the very genuine shock and anger at the news yesterday. I think I may well blog again on the subject in a more detached way later on.

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