Around the World

Let's All Move to Norway

Chad W. Lutz
Seriously, let's go. We can commit capital murder 77-times over and only get a maximum of 21 years in prison. And even though the majority of our victims will be under the age of 20, we'll still only be mandated by a federal judge to serve 10 years. We will also receive no threat of being put to death, and can smile as we exit the courtroom, knowing we just got away with one of the most heinous crimes in recent history.

On Friday, August 17, 2012, Anders Behring Breivik received sentencing for the terror attacks in Oslo and on Utoya Island in Norway carried out July 22, 2012. The Norwegian court ruled Breivik sane, smothering a verdict many believed would result in a finding of insanity. Instead, Breivik was found sane, and received sentencing of a minimum of 10 years without parole and up to a maximum of 21 years.

Norway must honestly be the most forgiving nation on the planet. After setting off a home-made car bomb outside the office of the Norwegian Prime Minister, killing 8 people and injuring more than 200 others, Breivik went on a rampage on the Island of Utoya while eluding police, and in the process killed nearly 70 people, most of them teenagers at a summer camp, the 33-year old "right-wing extremist" now gets to sit in a cell, for about a decade or so, and think about how he's going to spend his time fishing or playing video games when he's finally released, if he's not already doing so in prison.

As a country, Norway carries no death penalty, of any kind, for any crime, and abolished capital punishment in 1979. Knowing this, Breivik walked into a Norwegian federal courthouse Friday with a grin on his face, knowing, with certainty, the worst that could happen to him was a slap on the wrist. And a slap on the wrist Breivik did receive. He will serve 1 1/2 years for each person he killed. Think about your own loved ones for a moment. Maybe you have a daughter or a son; imagine someone senselessly taking their life, perhaps gunning them down while away at summer camp, and then try to wrap your mind around your judicial system after they rule the life of your son or daughter is only worth 1 1/2 years of prison sentence for their murderer. Honestly, why hasn't everyone moved to Norway to begin a career as a mass murderer? At 1 1/2 a pop, even while legally considered sane by multiple, court-appointed psychologists, what would you honestly have to lose? Apparently Breivik didn't believe he had anything to lose, and now he's getting away with murder. If he carries out his full sentence, Anders Breivik will be 54 upon release; just in time to take up sail boating off the coast of Utoya and enjoy the golden years of his life before he, himself, kicks the bucket.

It will be interesting to see how the James Holmes trial pans out here in America over the next several months. Although on a much smaller scale than the Oslo and Utoya shootings, the killing spree in Colorado and the following Sheikh shootings in Wisconsin highlight an era of mass violence against innocent civilians and fellow countrymen. I say interesting, because if a man like Breivik can legitimately get away with killing 77 people, and injure close to 400 more, and only receive a slap on the wrist, considering, then I'm almost terrified to see what kind of sentencing Holmes and the Sheikh shooters will receive, although I do bear in mind we live in America, and the death penalty here is about as alive and well as the Oreo. Thank goodness, for that matter, because perhaps it would have served as a form of deterrent in the case of the Oslo and Utoya tragedies, even though something tells me (i.e. McVeigh, Kaczynski) it probably wouldn't have.
Anders Behring Breivik salutes as he enters the courtroom the day of his sentencing. (thesun.co.uk)