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. yuri pelham

    If being out of touch with reality is a characteristic of insanity then look to the psychiatrists. Letting him go free further injures the family, friends, and survivors of the attack. What we are witnessing is (unintentional) cruelty. Also I don't trust psychiatrists in general. They are weak re character disorders. The man may be a psychopath. Psychopaths fool people. Compare and contrast with how John Hinkley was treated. Insane but up til now poses no danger. Those who release these miscreants.. they become the real danger.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • ComSenseWiz

      Executing insane people works just as well as executing sane people. How much is it going to cost to keep this wacko locked up and how many shrinks get paid consulting on this wacko? Looks like an enhancement to the Shrinks Employment Act, the Attorney Employment Act and however many others will be wallowing up to the gubment trough to cash in while the wacko remains alive. Much cheaper to just run this wacko through a woodchipper and be done with him.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Hoopty

      Borrow a warehouse. Invite all surviving family members. Seal all entrances. Place 1 bound Breivik in the middle.

      Save the Government and the people Piles of Trial monies and suspended Grief.

      December 1, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. victor

    Welcome to the world of shrink criminology and shrinking law. Why did you not spare those "poor" insane Nazi criminals after the war? They were just insane and decided like this one who has to live and who has to die. Ted Bundie was insane too, and was so "injustly" treated by justice. This is a legal declaration of free-for-all crime spree with insanity tickets issued at the end of the shooting game. This legal decision opens larger doors for criminal minds to the Alice Cooper tune "We are all crazy..."

    December 1, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Anton

    I feel for the Norwegian people. This monster should be tried, thrown in gaol and the key thrown away. No amount of therapy will help him. He is a danger to the Norwegian people and to civilisation in general. He should rot in gaol forever.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. hope

    Under Norwegian law the most hell get is 26 years. He'd live in a cush prison serving a fraction of his time and be on the streets in 10. Maybe it's best that he flies over the cuckoo's nest.

    Here's hoping they still perform lobotomies on the other side of the pond!

    Thoughts and prayers for the friends and family of the victims and for the survivors as well. So sad...

    December 1, 2011 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
    • No.

      Wrong, they could've, as they have done in the past, tried him on individual crimes to incur consecutive terms. They've done this in the past with ultra-violent criminals.

      He won't be getting out.

      December 1, 2011 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Just a reminder:
    I never post under the single name "Joey," although I am sometimes addressed as "Joey."
    Occasionally I post under "JIF."

    December 1, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Toiletman

    Well, if several specialists say that he is a paranoid schizophrenic, behaves like one and the planned fMRIs will also show the characteristic brain differences, the most rational conclusion is that he is indeed paranoid schizophrenic. Seems to fit to a lot of people on the violent fringe. I was once curious how German neonazis think and read in their forum for some months. Some of the most ardent and radical posters showed all the typical signs for paranoid schizophrenia. One was even banned after he began insulting the other nazis of all being spies of the "communist jewish world conspiracy".

    December 1, 2011 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. JOHN


    December 1, 2011 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. xyz198155

    Actually the fact that they declared that this guy was insane and needs mental help goes on to show how mature and humane Norwegian society is compared to the rest of the world. In islamic countries he would have been pelted stones at, In US he would have been give poison, in other countries he would have been imprisoned for life.

    Norway seems way ahead of others with respect to human rights, and I have great respect towards them for this.

    Hope Iam not wrong on this.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Some have written here that Breivik was sane because of the complexity of his planning and execution of the killings.
    Notice, however, that he was not sane enough to be free now.
    Ted Bundy and the Unibomber avoided capture for years.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |

    There is no place for serial killers to go free. If they think he has major mental disorder then at autopsy his brain should be forwarded to panel of psychiatrists in Norwegian psycho team for further analysis. Definitely his hands be cremated. None of his body be used for transplant otherwise will have same genetic proteins transmitted to population in large like a FLU virus. Next Breivik might be cannibal (another mental disorder). I recommend public lynching/ public electrocution in same island where is he played his fun game; there is no place for second or third run of same fun run. God bless Norway.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
    • ThePressureOfDumb

      WIll all due respect (and this is, in fact, all that you are due): please be quiet. That is literally the most poorly-informed attempt at self-aggrandizing/affirming through pseudo-science I have ever read on the internet. And THAT is impressive.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. mmi16

    Send him to Afgahnistan.

    December 1, 2011 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Space cowboy

    No send him to salvadoran prison,he will be loved to death down there

    December 1, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Oh come on. Norway is a socialist society where no one is responsible for his/her own situation. He's a victim who needs to be taken care of and coddled at society's expense. NOT!

    December 1, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      He shot socialists: what's your point , if any? Can you manage to make it without slipping in portions of your own manifesto?

      December 1, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. kc_and_fa

    Just because he is "insane" does not mean he doesn't know what he is doing. Society has to decide if it is ok to hurt other people or not. One way or the other he should never walk the streets as a free man again.

    December 1, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jt_flyer

    Send him to Texas. They'll kill anyone there.

    December 1, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
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