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14 Weeks for Murder

Valeria Criscione and Oren Dorell report for USA Today on the controversy over the Anders Breivik case in Norway, where the defendant faces a maximum 21-year sentence for 76 murders.

That is about 14 weeks per life taken. 


Obviously, this is appalling. Of course, I don't think that this necessarily impugns the Norwegian system of justice. Their system of justice may work very well for them, and while I think it appalling that the maximum penalty for murder is 21 years over there---that's their call, not mine. (I don't think it's an issue of human rights.) I would point out though that I wish that Europeans with their bien pensant views of the death penalty would take this incident to reflect on the fact that people just may have different views on how to best deal with the fact that some people in life commit horrible acts such as rape, robbery, murder etc. I personally wish there would never be occasion for the use of the death penalty (i.e., no murders), but we're always going to have murder, and we're always going to have debates about how to best protect society. I am not a barbarian because I believe in capital punishment, and while I think that there are aspects of the Norwegian justice system which are ill-advised, I don't look down on Norwegians over it.

I hesitated before posting this. This is a horrible horrible crime. And I don't want to use it to score cheap debating points. I do think it points up the reality that there are some truly awful people in this world, and what we do with them is always going to be a subject of debate and controversy.

It's not a cheap debating point. There are episodes that illustrate the DP is the only punishment a normal person would count as justice. If we don't talk about those episodes, we are not telling the truth about the world as it is.

I don't disagree with you. It's a very sad case, and there is clearly a lesson to be learned here.

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