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Thursday, July 28, 2011

TERROR ON NORWAY: Anders Behring Breivik Gets Off Easy!
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Stefan Theil, / Jul 26, 2011 7:57 PM EDT.

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik (L), accused of a killing spree and bomb attack in Norway, sits in the rear of a vehicle as he is leaving the courthouse in Oslo on July 25. A judge ordered eight weeks detention on Monday for Breivik, who has admitted to a bombing and shooting massacre that killed about 90 people. Breivik claimed in court to have two more groups of collaborators. Custody, in line with the prosecutors' request, will allow investigators to pursue the case against Breivik, 32, an anti-Islamic zealot who has previously claimed sole responsibility for Friday's attacks. The custody can be extended. , Scanpix Norway / Reuters.

Mass murderer Anders Breivik won’t get the death penalty—or even life in prison. He may be out in just a few years. But Norwegians, like most Europeans, are convinced their more lenient system of justice works.

What punishment can Norwegian shooter Anders Behring Breivik expect if found guilty of the monstrous mass murder to which he already confessed?
Certainly not the death penalty, which Norway abolished in 1902. Not life imprisonment, which doesn’t exist in Norway either. The maximum sentence: 21 years. In extremely rare cases, if a judge finds a criminal unfit to return to society, an additional five years can be tacked on. On Tuesday state prosecutors were dusting off a special, never-used law that allows 30 years for “crimes against humanity,” which they could apply to the case. But normally, even murderers are fully eligible for parole after just a few years in prison.
n a country that considers the idea of punishment barbaric, and where the purpose of prison is to reacclimatize the prisoner to society, even jail doesn’t look so bad. Take Halden Prison, a maximum-security facility for murderers and rapists a few miles from the Swedish border. Completed last year for $280 million to house 250 inmates, its living quarters are bright and airy, with mint-green walls and IKEA-style furniture in varnished natural wood. Looking more like a college dorm than a maximum-security jail, each cell comes with a flat-screen TV, a private bath, and a large unbarred window. Inmates take cooking classes and work out with personal trainers; there’s a deluxe gym with a rock-climbing wall as well as a professional music studio for prisoners’ bands. Half the guards are women, which prison governor Are Hoidal says creates a less aggressive atmosphere. For the same reason, the guards don’t carry weapons and freely mingle with the inmates. Prisoners even fill out questionnaires to rate the level of service.
Most prisoners are eligible after only a few years to switch to a low-security “open prison,” with laxer rules, frequent furlough, and early parole.

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