In Norway, “isolation is torture” for mass murderer

Almost speechless. Norway’s mass killer – who killed 77 people 13 months ago after setting off a bomb in Oslo and moving on to a teen camp where he went on a shooting rampage – is being moved to a high security prison area that features more than 250 square feet of living space, with a treadmill, computer access, a TV and daily newspaper deliveries.

Of course, Norway says they treat prisoners humanely – as compared to the rest of the world’s savages – but you may become a bit enraged when you hear what will happen if the guy is declared mentally insane. Emphasis mine.

If declared insane, the confessed killer will be the sole patient of a psychiatric ward that Norway built just for him at the prison, with 17 people on staff to treat him. It cost between 2 million and 3 million kroner ($340,000-$510,000), according to Norway’s Health Ministry.

There are 77 families and thousands of friends who have been devastated by the actions of this man. I’m wondering what treatment Norway’s Health Ministry has provided them? I’m pretty certain each family does not have a government-paid staff of 17 taking care of them 24/7/365, and is that not an issue?

“I like to put it this way: He’s a human being. He has human rights. This is about creating a humane prison regime,” said Ellen Bjercke, a spokeswoman for Ila Prison.

Well isn’t that special. This monster has “human rights,” something we’ve discussed here at RVO frequently. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is my definition of human rights, so I guess Norway’s people are perfectly fine with taking away the man’s liberty and pursuit of happiness, but taking away a man’s treadmill is torture!

You would think Norway would be in lock-step with the United Nations when it comes to rights, but the UN declared Internet access a basic human right 14 months ago so if Norway is really concerned with human rights, they best fire up the wireless and ensure that computer is hooked up. They may also want to consult neighboring Finland who has not only specified Internet access a right, but wrote into law it must be broadband speed.


While in isolation, Breivik has access to TV and newspapers and a computer, but no Internet connection. He has three cells instead of one in “compensation” for not having access to activities offered to other inmates, Bjercke said. In addition, prison staff and a priest come see him more often than other inmates, so that he has someone to talk to.

“Isolation is torture,” Bjercke said.

Breivik, like other prisoners, is free to communicate with the outside world with letters, as he has done since restrictions were lifted at the start of this year. His defense lawyers have said he is already planning to write books building on the 1,500-page manual on far-right terror he released before the attacks.

Isolation is torture? Isolation? What about the families who have been completely isolated from their sons, daughters, mothers and fathers? What about their isolation?

I’m generally fine with the death penalty, and I’ve written about my opinion back in June 2009. It may surprise some.

[If we’re going to ditch the death penalty] … once convicted and sentenced to life without parole, the inmate should get no visits with family, no TV, no mail privileges, no interaction with other inmates and only occasional Red Cross visits. …

[They can have] basic medical care and three non-tasty meals a day, but once the appeals are done, they should be done. No more appeals and lawyers arguing for a new trial. If the felon was going to get the death penalty that has been reduced to life without parole – he or she is done with the court system and is a ward of the state.

In other words, if someone is eligible for the death penalty but society thinks life in prison without parole is the maximum sentence, we never hear one word about the prisoner until he or she is dead. (See my sidebar below.) A simple one sentence press release from the state would be fine. “So-and-so died yesterday”.

I think what I’ve suggested is humane to the killer, but more importantly I think it’s humane to the victims and the victim’s families. Is that not what is important?

But the disgrace does not end there … now we hear this killer in Norway is expecting to be able to pen an autobiography.

The book would focus on his life as of 2002, when Breivik claims he began his ideological crusade as part of the Knights Templar, though police have never been able to confirm the existence of the network of far-right militants that Breivik claims to have founded in London.

The book “will contain more information than what he told the police,” Mr Jordet said, adding that it would be written in English and finished next year, although it is not yet known whether it would be published.

Breivik is also reportedly known to be working on two other books, one on his ideology and another on his vision of the future.

Even allowing this guy and his lawyers the ability to mention the great works this narcissist is writing is disturbing. In Norway, my guess is the government, the people and as such the victims will be funding the printing and distribution. That’s true torture for the victims … period.

Sidebar: The Hartford Courant published a home-page story on their website after a death-row interview with Steven Hayes (Cheshire Connecticut home invasion murderer) for no good reason at all. There was nothing going on with his trial or sentencing since it was complete months before. No anniversary … they just felt the need to write about Hayes and his routine in prison or something. This is the crap that should be disallowed. I also find it interesting a search for Steven Hayes death row interview courant does not list a direct link to the Hartford Courant’s story, rather I got the link from the New Haven Register.

14 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    The only thing worse than the ill conceived “compassionate conservatism”, is the practice of “compassionate” liberalism.?? Coddle the criminal, forget about the victims.? You can apply it to almost any liberal policy, such as that on illegals, abortion, felons (see early release), the New Black Panthers etc., etc., etc.

  2. JBS
    JBS says:

    While I don’t believe in the death penalty, believing in the sanctity of life from beginning to end, I have no problem with PUNISHING a mass murderer. No coddling, no jail-house interviews, no triple-sized cell! If isolation is torture to him, then, good. This true waste of a human life should get anything more or less than any other incarcerated murderer in Norway. Maybe general population would be better.
    Certainly no celebrity status.
    Yes, the man is a monster. Let the shrinks drive him crazier with tests and questions. Here’s a thought: let the shrinks write a book about this wastrel and let the money go to the families. No sale here; I don’t want to hear about ideological murder or someone who murders to play out a fantasy.
    Internet, TV, newspapers? LOL How about one book per week off the library cart?

  3. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    I say set him free in January… a pair of sandals and a jock strap…. about 300 miles north of the Arctic circle… if he can walk to Oslo, he’s free.

    • stinkfoot
      stinkfoot says:

      I’d throw in an ice cream cone for good measure.? Who knows… perhaps the do-gooder fascists will decide that deprivation of ice cream is torture and I want to be proactive.

  4. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    Good thing they didn’t take OBL alive… ? We’d have to give him a cell in the West Wing and make him an adviser on middle east affairs- ?he could work with Anthony Weiner’s wife:)

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      Thanks great job. I have been reading books by Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian author of crime stories. ? It is fascinating to have an insight into the Norwegian culture and how their criminal system works. This article provided me another glimpse.

    • dairyair
      dairyair says:

      Sure, I know this makes me crazy, but I wish more cops would KILL people like Breivik during the arrest. Sorry!

  5. TexasDB
    TexasDB says:

    A sentence should, to the murderer, feel like PUNISHMENT?so I disagree with the oversized cell, computer and other ‘niceties.’ Isolation is not really used even in our jail system apart from occasional isolation for violent behavior. Keep in mind, the murder rate is .6 / 100k in Norway ( 4.2 / 100k in the U.S.) so perhaps the system isn’t designed for this kind of act? Don’t get me wrong, murder is murder, and the conditions are entirely too comfy. But it’s not like Norway is so backward on things like gun laws, especially compared to the rest of Europe.

  6. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    Lynne, sadly he’s not kidding.? The mass-murderer got 10-21 years…can you imagine that? He killed 77 people, mostly kids.? Justice gone mad.

      • JBS
        JBS says:

        So, hmmmm, what is the message to our children? (OK, the next generation or beyond.)
        Is it OK to go nutz and kill a whole bunch of people? What is the society, who rules, saying to our offspring? It’s OK to kill a whole bunch of people but not one or two?

  7. dairyair
    dairyair says:

    If I heard the radio report correctly, the scummer was “glad” that he was found mentally incompetent, because if he wasn’t, it would “hurt the credibility of my cause” (paraphrasing).

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