It is a crime, not a mental disease

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik has admitted detonating a bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo on July 22, then massacring 69 people with gunfire at a Labor Party summer camp. (Reuters)

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik has admitted detonating a bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo on July 22, then massacring 69 people with gunfire at a Labor Party summer camp. (Reuters) Al Arabiya, 4-10-12

The Norwegian justice system has done the world a favor without knowing it.  The official decision in the case of Anders Behring Breivik was released today, he is sane.  The psychiatrists did a very through job of observing his behavior before pronouncing their verdict.  The team observed Breivek 24 hours a day for weeks, before writing a 310-page report on the observations and giving their conclusions on his sanity.

The trial is scheduled to begin next week and last for 12 weeks.  Sane, fit to stand trial and go to prison he is; it is rumored that he will testify at the trial.  His expected to say that he is only that sorry he did not kill more of the left-winged radical children of the those left-winged radicals that are destroying Norway.  He is apparently still very certain he is an agent of goodness, righteousness and truth.

Previous professionals had come to a completely different conclusion, they had found Breivek to be a psychotic who also suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.  That diagnosis might have kept him suffering any punishment for his crimes; he would have been institutionalized, but not punished.   In the first decade or two after the Second World War, a diagnosis like that could, and often did, created a legal defense and escape hatch.  Knowing of that possibility, some killers felt empowered to act out their anger; with a little luck and a good attorney,  they might retire to a pleasant home surrounded by grounds covered with grass, trees and flowers.  Perfect retirement home for retired killers, they were all of the latest technologies for making life more pleasant and with the best tools to help a struggling wacko; one could look forward to shock treatments, both electric and water and even the occasion brain operation.  But those institutions had no electric chairs of death – just those mild shocks the shake those paranoid schizophrenic tendency right out of the former killer turned patient.  Of course, I am being facetious, but those that opted for an insanity defense did think it was going to be a great deal pleasant that prison or the electric chair.

That is the favor Norway has done;  the Norwegians have said those radical extremists are criminals.  They are willing to do or say anything in the belief that they represent right and truth; now we have a clear view of them, they are not crazy, but criminal.   In my mind, that gives us permission to do the same; to treat extremism as a crime not a symptom of insanity.  In the case in Norway, as in all such cases, the families, the survivors and indeed the entire society deserves a full trial and most of all they deserve to see him punished for his crimes.  Let justice be done!


2 Responses to “It is a crime, not a mental disease”

  1. 1 Bill Hanigan April 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    At Last, reason prevails in at least one society. How on earth did that happen ?

  2. 2 Ken Adams April 11, 2012 at 11:09 am

    It may have been an accident, but Norway is seemingly approaching the whole issue with its mind and not reacting blindly with emotion.

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