Norwegians Need to Reevaluate Punishment for Oslo Shooter
The Wall St Journal reports that Oslo murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who’s death toll has reached 76, could get a maximum punishment of 30 years in jail.
You read that correctly- 30 years. Not 30 years for each murder, but 30 years total.
What are the Norwegians thinking and why is their sense of justice so off? To compare the extreme on this, take a look at a local case in Pittsburgh of another notorious killer who made international headlines.
On April 4, 2009, Richard Poplawski strapped on a bullet proof vest, gathered his guns and ammunition, and waited for police to arrive at his Stanton Heights home in Pittsburgh after his mom made a domestic disturbance 9-1-1 call. He cowardly took the lives of three Pittsburgh police officers and shocked and saddened the entire Pittsburghregion. A jury of his peers decided that Poplawski should die by lethal injection.
Pittsburghers demanded justice, and justice was served. Poplawski knew what he was doing, admitted he did it, and barring a successful appeal, will be put to death like the dog he is.
Fast-forward to July 22 in Oslo, Norway. Anders Behring Breivik admits to bombing a government building in Oslo and then going on a shooting rampage on the lake island of Utoya. So far, 76 people have died. He is currently held on terrorism-related crimes, but could be upgraded to crimes against humanity.
In both situations, the killers were motivated by hate. For Poplawski, it was a paranoid fear of the government and President Obama taking away his rights; for Breivik, it was Muslim extremism that motivated his massacre that he hoped would spark a revolution across Europe.
However, what is different is how our cultures view justice. Progressive Norway is apparently much more lenient in punishment then we in the U.S.are. For terrorism-related crimes, the prison term could last up to 21 years; for crimes against humanity, Breivik could get the maximum penalty- 30 years in prison.
Could you imagine the outcry in this country if a madman killed nearly 80 people in Pittsburgh, admitted to doing it, and the only punishment he would receive was 20-30 years in prison? Breivik is 32 year old; at worst case scenario, he could be free at 62 years old.
To further understand the progressive view of the Norwegians, take a look at this quote from Oslomayor Fabian Stang, who was addressing a crowd of 100,000 in the city center who gathered to show their support for the victims.
“We are all going to punish the murderer,” Stang told the crowds. Our punishment will be more generosity, more tolerance and more democracy.”
That’s right, kill him with kindness! Battle his intolerance with tolerance! Damn him with democracy!
Was not Norway the home of the Vikings, the fierce barbarians who plundered and terrorized Europe for hundreds of years? Were their gods not of Norse tradition, which above all else held heroism and battle in the highest esteem? What happened to these hearty Norwegians that their belief in the justice system would become so passive that crimes against humanity would be 30 years of prison?
When I think of “crimes against humanity,” I imagine Nazi war criminals, Stalin’s purging of the Russian people, or terror mastermind Osama bin Laden planning the 9-11 attacks. Could you imagine giving Adolph Hitler 30 years in prison for his atrocities in WWII?
Norway is lucky to have an extremely low murder rate, and while I understand that crimes like this are rare, I hope the Norwegians make a special case of Anders Behring Breivik- the death penalty was made for people like him, and it should be exercised in this case.