Breivik Ruled Sane, Sentenced

Via the BBC:  Anders Behring Breivik: Norway court finds him sane

Breivik admitted killing 77 people and wounding more than 240 others when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp last year.

He insisted he was sane and refused to plead guilty, seeking to justify his attacks by saying they were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway.

Prosecutors had called for him to be considered insane.

The five judges were unanimous in ruling that Breivik was sane.

He was convicted of terrorism and premeditated murder, and given the maximum sentence of 21 years’ imprisonment.

However, that can be prolonged at a later date if he is deemed to remain a danger to society.

Given his current demeanor and attitudes, it seems likely that his stay may exceed those 21 years.  A CNN write-up notes that the extension could potentially be indefinite.

FILED UNDER: Europe, Terrorism, World Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Anybody familliar with the standards of sanity under Norse law? Same as ours, not necessarily clinically sane but able to tell right from wrong?

    The published reports have certainly suggested that this character is delusional.

  2. walt moffett says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    The difference between having a rich fantasy life and delusion can be very thin and dependent on the assessor. Though, when you have two contradictory reports from scientific experts, a prosecution pressing insanity, and defense admitting guilt but sane combined with a court that respects human rights, the guilty and sane finding fits.