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Anders Behring Breivik, who has been psychologically evaluated by psychiatrists, insists he is not crazy and that taking the insanity plea would be worse than death. This has a lot of people wondering, what is sane about killing 77 people?
Breivik has admitted his crime and told the court last week in chilling detail and with no remorse, how he went about killing 69 civilians that were attending a political youth camp on Utoya, an island just outside of Oslo, Norway.
According to VOANews, “he told a court filled with relatives of those he killed that at first he was hesitant to carry out his plan to shoot as many people as he could when he arrived on Utoya Island. But he said the killing got easier once he shot his first victim in the head.”
Another eight people had already been killed from a bombing that Breivik orchestrated at a government building in Oslo. He claims he got the idea of executing his plan after extensively researching Timothy McVeigh. McVeigh is infamously known for his anti-government antics and is commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City Bomber after killing 168 people and injuring an additional 600 in 1995.
Breivik, who has strong anti-Islamic beliefs, has mentioned at every one of his court appearances that he killed those people “in order to fight multiculturalism in Norway and what he sees as a Muslim invasion of Europe.”
If Breivik is found sane, the maximum sentence he will receive is a 21 year prison sentence, which reflects that Norway does not have the death penalty. Is a 21 year prison sentence too lenient for taking the lives of 77 people?
While the government system seems to be acting extremely lenient toward Breivik’s sentencing in comparison to other nation’s standards, several Norwegians are not taking his massacres lightly. Tens of thousands of Norwegians defied Breivik as they gathered in Oslo on April 26. At the gathering, Norwegians united by singing a folk song about multiculturalism.
Civilians attending the event also listened to the stories of some of those who survived Breivik’s attacks and then went to the courtroom where a few survivors testified. One woman who worked at the government building discussed how, after the bomb detonated, “she fell into a coma and lost her memory.” Another man, who also worked at the government building discussed how he survived the blast but lost eighty-percent of his eye-sight as a result.
Breivik has been subjected to two psychological analyses; the first declared that he was insane while the second declared that he was sane. Breivik was outraged by both results while claiming the first analysis attempted to show him as unintelligent and that those who diagnosed him were simply making “evil fabrications” against him. The second psychological test result was that Breivik is sane but is “narcissistic and dissocial.” However, many contend that there is nothing sane about either incident. Breivik has remained emotionless and expression-less throughout the trial as details are unraveled of what he has done. The mass murder told the court last week that, “I embrace death. I looked at the action on July 22 as a suicide mission.”
Breivik has been charged with pre-meditated murder and terrorism. While he admits what he has done, he still rejects the idea that he is criminally guilty of anything. If 33-year-old Breivik decides to take the insanity plea, he would be institutionalized at a psychiatric care facility rather than face prison time.
Regardless of Breivik’s final sentencing, he is standing his ground. He was hopeful that Norway would change its immigration policy after his attacks in July. He is upset that nothing has been changed.
Breivik has warned prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh that “there are currently two other one-man cells in Norway ‘planning attacks’ and who could strike at any time.” Until that day comes however, Anders Behring Breivik will be infamously known in history as carrying out the deadliest massacre ever committed by a lone gunman.