Norwegians angry terror suspect deemed insane, want him to face prison time
Anders Breivik's trial is set to take place in April for the rampage that killed 77 people.
November 30th, 2011
12:58 PM ET

Norwegians angry terror suspect deemed insane, want him to face prison time

A panel of psychiatrists this week found Norwegian Anders Breivik, the man accused of killing 77 people in a terrorist rampage, to be insane and suffering from "paranoid schizophrenia."

Breivik took months to plan the July attacks in Oslo and at a youth camp on nearby Utoya Island. He orchestrated complicated financial transactions to obtain chemicals used to make bombs detonated at Oslo governmental buildings. He went through great lengths to ensure family, friends, police and even his landlord did not discover his plot.

Breivik spent hours each day working on a political manifesto that, while rambling and self-involved, still presented a cohesive set of principles. He described himself as trying to start a war that would ultimately rid Europe of Islamists and other groups to which he objected.

Despite the planning, his political manifesto and Breivik's own stated rationality, psychiatrists determined he was insane. While that finding could be overturned, it places Breivik on a legal path where it's possible he may never serve jail time.

He has pleaded not guilty but admits carrying out the attacks, the judge handling his case has said. At his trial in April, Breivik will have the opportunity to present evidence, police said.

Many Norwegians are questioning the psychiatrists' conclusion and say they are angry that Breivik may not spend time in a prison.

Listen to a CNN Radio report on the matter here:

"The ruling makes no sense,"  said Kristian Andeneas, head of the University of Oslo's Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law. "This is astonishing. I thought they would come to a different result."

Former politician and Norwegian writer Aslak Sira Myhre more bluntly told Britain's The Guardian, "As the terrorist of Oslo is declared insane, the Norwegian faith in our judicial system is challenged."

But the biggest outcry has come from the families of victims and the survivors of Breivik's attacks. If the insanity finding is allowed to stand, he would receive a hearing every three years. Norwegian law mandates these hearings, meaning many victims would be forced to relive the horrific events of July 22.

"That's not good for victims," Andeneas says. "And it's not very good for Norway as we try to move beyond these crimes."

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Crime • Norway
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. So What?

    You kill. You die. Any other outcome is a travesty.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      But then the Euros couldn't smugly remind us how much more civilized they are than the US.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sylvia

      I agree with you 100%. This man is not insane. He is an utterly cruel evil monster, and deserves to die without any delay. Anything less would amount to twisting a knife in the hearts of all the victims and their loved ones, and not just insult to injury.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • dd

      asdf: We don't really care. Why don't you go and execute some innocent people again?

      November 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. whodathunk

    They really should tie this guy to a tree and let the wolves have him. If he's insane, he may not even notice

    November 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. p zombie

    Maybe they factored into the decision the actual cause: the persons of consciousness that messed with his mind and brainwashed him into his actions.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sean

    When it is a Muslim then his religion is evil. When it is a Christian he is insane.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      Hypocrisy strikes again.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnW

      His religion had nothing to do with it. Muslim terrorists are made to think the way they do by a handful of people that have misinterpreted scripture. I haven't read everything about this case, but I haven't seen anything that suggests he was doing this based on religion, and if he was it was his own twisted version of religion. Only stupid people blame Islam for the terrorists' actions. Please don't perpetuate it on the rest of us.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ShariaLawyer

    Islam shall dominate the world. Please keep converting to liberal politics. It just makes our domination over your lands even easier to accomplish.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      You sir are a political sheep.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jdoe

    Of course the U.S. would do it differently. Just like the Loughner case, they'll force him to take medications to make him "sane" again, so that he can stand trial. The victims would have to relive the horror over and over for years with the trial, the endless appeals, and possibly the parole hearings. The end result is still the same, except it costs the taxpayer millions more, and the victims are victimized over and over. The lawyers win.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Dont forget the book deals, TV dramas and movie contracts.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MashaSobaka

    If he had a darker skin tone or was a Muslim they would throw him in prison and toss the key in the gulf. Lovely world we've got here.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Todd C

    "I am neither a trained medical professional, nor have I ever met or spoken to the individual in question. Nonetheless, I believe this ruling makes no sense," said Kristian Andeneas, head of the University of Oslo's Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KarKar

    While I don't believe in the death penalty (humans make mistakes) and I don't believe in torture (see umut baba's comment), putting this cowardly crackpot out on the Arctic ice would be fine by me. Let the bears have him.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thor

    This is the logical outcome of a country steeped in a feel good "progressive" liberal ideology - no one is ever responsible for their own actions, everything goes, and it's not PC to label a mass murdering terrorist a criminal. No, he's "insane" and in need of the best state sponsored treatment, care, and feeding. Just look at the poor fellow - he looks like a big, dumb, helpless blondie in need of a big bowl of homemade chicken soup, a warm blankie, and lots of hugs and kisses. That will fix him and bring justice to all those young men and women he systematically executed with military like precision. Yes, it's good that the Norwegian's are willing to provide this mass murderer with a succulent state sponsored teat to suckle for the rest of his life. Nicely done. Your Viking ancestors would be proud. Not.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ShariaLawyer

    Liberalism is a Muslims best friend. Please prevent people like this killer from destroying the liberal future political leaders. We need them to unlock the gates so we can come in and take over.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bad_Conduct

    Just set him free. Someone is going to shoot him anyway... Save the tax payer some money.

    November 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Paranoia Schizophrenia what? There is no cure for that. Just like there's no cure for a victim pronounced dead. They should of worried about his "mental state" decades ago. Perhaps a controlled environment years ago would of averted all of this. Duh! Too late!

    November 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity" woulda, coulda, shoulda !

    November 30, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeremiah

    I think they need to just let this guy go. Think about it, police drop him off in a populated urban area after broadcasting the time and location of his release to every victim, and family member of the victims. Then let the police leave, and not look back while this sicko meets the people he hurt face to face. Justice Served

    November 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
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