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August 27th, 2012, 12:07
Calling ideologically driven people "insane" is a habit that must stop.

There are a lot of people with schizophrenia, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome and other diagnosises that wouldn't do harm to anyone and are productive people that add to society like everybody else.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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August 27th, 2012, 12:25
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
He's most likely not coming out again. Norway is not stuck in the stoneage like much of the US - and they don't murder people they don't like.
A person who blows up buildings or goes on a shooting spree killing many deserves to die. What does putting him behind bars for life accomplish?

We can justify it all we want but in the end he is nothing but a mass murderer.

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August 27th, 2012, 12:34
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
A person who blows up buildings or goes on a shooting spree killing many deserves to die. What does putting him behind bars for life accomplish?

We can justify it all we want but in the end he is nothing but a mass murderer.
No one in the world is born wanting to murder people. How we develop as human beings is almost exclusively based on the early years and what kind of capacity we're given throughout our upbringing.

Some people manage to break out of a bad start, not because they "deserve more" - but because they're fortunate enough to have the capacity and option available.

This is for mentally healthy people.

If you suffer from a mental illness or disorder - such things are much more challenging.

No one "deserves" anything harmful happening to them.

The reason we punish people is not because they deserve it, but because we want to prevent it in the future - to act as a deterrent.

The problem with crimes like this one, is that there is no deterrent. Breivik wanted to die - and he expected to die.

The reason we want to keep him alive is that we need to learn from him - and we need as much information about his background and motivation as we can. Because that's the only way we can ever hope to understand the nature of crimes like this - and through that, try and prevent or minimise similar incidents in the future.

Killing him would mean killing someone because they have a harmful personality through no desire of their own - most likely based on one or several personality disorders and an incapacity to function normally in a social setting.

That would probably bring short-term relief to the people close to the victims, but it would do nothing beneficial for the world society or anyone else in the long-term. The harm is done - and nothing can undo it. But we can, potentially, learn from it and prevent something similar happening in the future.

If we can get a hold of just a single person likely to do something like this in the future, and actively prevent it - I think that's worth sparing his life for.
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August 27th, 2012, 12:39
That's all good logic but what about all the family's that have lost loved ones. Do you tell them sorry we can't give you a little peace but we can make him a lab rat.

Doesn't sit well with me that's not justice. But then again I'm a barbaric US citizen.

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August 27th, 2012, 12:48
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
That's all good logic but what about all the family's that have lost loved ones. Do you tell them sorry we can't give you a little peace but we can make him a lab rat.

Doesn't sit well with me that's not justice. But then again I'm a barbaric US citizen.
It's about the big picture. If there was a way to maximise the beneficial outcome of any response AND give peace to the families - that would be the best option.

But there is no such way, and peace will never come from killing him anyway. Short-term, maybe, but you don't cure something like this. Only time can lessen the pain.
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August 27th, 2012, 12:49
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
That's all good logic but what about all the family's that have lost loved ones. Do you tell them sorry we can't give you a little peace but we can make him a lab rat.
I'd tell the family that they need to seek closure somewhere else than in vengeance, because the closure vengeance brings them corrupts more than it heals.

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August 27th, 2012, 12:56
Originally Posted by Ubereil View Post
I'd tell the family that they need to seek closure somewhere else than in vengeance, because the closure vengeance brings them corrupts more than it heals.

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That's a nice sentiment but sadly it sounds like pacifism. How does vengeance breed corruption? I'm curious so don't feel offended.

Let me just sum it up this for my final post on this topic-

The American justice system, like most of those in at least the Western world, is built on an idea called retributive justice. In very simplified terms (sorry, I'm not a legal scholar), it defines justice as appropriately punishing someone for an act that's harmful to society.

Our system does include other ideas: incapacitating a criminal from committing other crimes, rehabilitating criminals to rejoin society, and deterring other potential criminals. At its foundation, though, retributive justice is about enforcing both rule of law and more abstract ideas of fairness and morality. Crimes are measured by their damage to society, and it's society that, working through the court system, metes out in-turn punishment.

Justice is treated as valuable and important in itself, not just for its deterrence or incapacitative effects. In a retributive system, the punishment fits the crime, and 21 years in a three-room cell doesn't come close to fitting Breivik's 77 premeditated murders.

Now the Norwegian-style restorative justice subverts those human desires for justice and fairness, which does seem to have found success in reducing crime's cost to society. Proponents, such as University of Oslo professor Thomas Mathiesen, say it's better for society overall because it isn't about "revenge, but sober, dignified treatment."

But is the retributive-style need for justice and fairness really only about "revenge," or is it something more important than that? The retributive approach absolutely has its pitfalls — the American system's heavy emphasis on punishment has a history of leading it to horrific excess and abuse — but at least it's meant to be just.

I don't know how you balance that against the overall social good, which Norway's gentler system seems to have found success in promoting, but the vastly different philosophies of the two systems are a reminder that, even if right and wrong are universal, how society treats them is not.

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August 27th, 2012, 13:10
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
That's a nice sentiment but sadly it sounds like pacifism. How does vengeance breed corruption? I'm curious so don't feel offended.

Let me just sum it up this for my final post on this topic-

The American justice system, like most of those in at least the Western world, is built on an idea called retributive justice. In very simplified terms (sorry, I'm not a legal scholar), it defines justice as appropriately punishing someone for an act that's harmful to society.

Our system does include other ideas: incapacitating a criminal from committing other crimes, rehabilitating criminals to rejoin society, and deterring other potential criminals. At its foundation, though, retributive justice is about enforcing both rule of law and more abstract ideas of fairness and morality. Crimes are measured by their damage to society, and it's society that, working through the court system, metes out in-turn punishment.

Justice is treated as valuable and important in itself, not just for its deterrence or incapacitative effects. In a retributive system, the punishment fits the crime, and 21 years in a three-room cell doesn't come close to fitting Breivik's 77 premeditated murders.
Yes, it's a system based on a profound lack of understanding of human behavior. It's so black/white simplistic from a time when people didn't have the luxury of understanding things in-depth.

However, I wouldn't say vengeance necessarily corrupts. It's just a very, very empty relief that can never fill a hole like the loss of a loved one.

The only way to achieve peace is through understanding. If you can manage to understand WHY and HOW something like this can happen, then you have a chance at peace.

But it's very, very hard - and you have to let go of the emotional baggage - because THAT corrupts truth more than anything.
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August 27th, 2012, 14:30
This all sounds great and is easy to say when it's someone else's loved one that is dead but if it were my loved one I would much rather have that very very empty relief.

He was sentence as he was because that's what the law allowed. I doubt they will be studying him and actively using there finds to prevent future crimes. More likely he will get his free meal, Internet, tv and room and board and the families who's loved ones he killed will pay for it with their tax dollars.

Even if that do study him and find out every detail of his life it would be largely useless in stoping future crimes. What are they going to do round up everyone with a similar back ground and put them in jail, of course not. They would have to commit the crime first and then what good does all that studying of brevik do.

Not to mention everyone is different 2 people can grow up with identical back grounds and one can be a model citizen the other a murderer. There's no way to predict which way a person will react.

I was physically and sexually abused for a good portion of my childhood. If I would have turned to drugs or went on a killing spree, people would have said well no wonder look what happened to him as a child. I didn't though I don't do drugs, smoke and drink maybe once a year max, i'm not violent and havent hurt anyone.I am a successful business owner and a good husband and father if I do say so myself. There was no way of telling how I would turn out by studying my childhood.
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August 27th, 2012, 14:36
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
This all sounds great and is easy to say when it's someone else's loved one that is dead but if it were my loved one I would much rather have that very very empty relief.
It's not about what's easy and it's not about giving minimal benefit to anyone. It's about maximising benefit for everyone.

He was sentence as he was because that's what the law allowed. I doubt they will be studying him and actively using there finds to prevent future crimes. More likely he will get his free meal, Internet, tv and room and board and the families who's loved ones he killed will pay for it with their tax dollars.
"They" will not be studying him - but a lot of people will. I know you'd prefer he suffered for the rest of his life - but that's not what the punishment is supposed to be about.

Even if that do study him and find out every detail of his life it would be largely useless in stoping future crimes. What are they going to do round up everyone with a similar back ground and put them in jail, of course not. They would have to commit the crime first and then what good does all that studying of brevik do.
Unfortunately, you have no basis for that claim. There are several aspects to how and what we can learn. There's the whole practical approach - not unlike the 9/11 attacks - where we can learn from how they planned it and exactly what they did, to enhance security in the future.

But, most valuable is the psychological make-up and establishing what made him into the person he is - and how his interaction through the Internet and so on affects people. So many things can be learned from that extreme example.

But it's not "tangible" and it will not immediately pay off - and likely it will never be evident as a way to prevent future tragedies. It's something you just have to trust - based on common sense.

Not to mention everyone is different 2 people can grow up with identical back grounds and one can be a model citizen the other a murderer. There's no way to predict which way a person will react.
No two people in the world has ever had an identical background. Not ever.

I was physically and sexually abused for a good portion of my childhood. If I would have turned to drugs or went on a killing spree, people would have said well no wonder look what happened to him as a child. I didn't though I don't do drugs, smoke and drink maybe once a year max, i'm not violent and havent hurt anyone.I am a successful business owner and a good husband and father if I do say so myself. There was no way of telling how I would turn out by studying my childhood.
So, you're claiming what you experienced had no effect on who you are today?
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August 27th, 2012, 15:42
Do you honestly think he's going to be directly studied, DArt? Honestly? I fully agree that what he did will be extensively studied, and there very well might be lots of 3rd hand digging around into his childhood, but that's not the same and that doesn't require him to be comfortably warehoused for the next couple decades.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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August 27th, 2012, 17:10
With any luck, one of the other inmates will take care of him. People that harm children don't do well in US prisons, can't imagine it's different over there.

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August 27th, 2012, 17:19
No such luck, bn. The article said his Club Med suite would be in solitary.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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August 27th, 2012, 17:27
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
No such luck, bn. The article said his Club Med suite would be in solitary.
Solitary is pretty nasty though, maybe he will bash his own head in against the wall or something. Or the guards will forget to feed him for a few weeks.

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August 27th, 2012, 17:57
That is tremendously unenlightened, bn. You'll get sent to the duncecap corner for rehabilitation if you're not careful.

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Don't worry, I've got lazyboys set up. There's pretzels and beer (gatorade or pop for me, thanks) and we've got Cowboys games and Making the Team on DVR. Just make it look like you're ashamed and they'll never notice.

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August 27th, 2012, 18:26
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
That is tremendously unenlightened, bn. You'll get sent to the duncecap corner for rehabilitation if you're not careful.

*whisper*
Don't worry, I've got lazyboys set up. There's pretzels and beer (gatorade or pop for me, thanks) and we've got Cowboys games and Making the Team on DVR. Just make it look like you're ashamed and they'll never notice.
If you can get the Longhorn Network, I am totally in.

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August 27th, 2012, 19:46
At the moment Breivik is in the ultra-high security section of the prison. We have no other prisoners requiring that level of security, that's why he's alone. Eventually he will be in contact with the other prisoners. There is little risk (my choice of words) that he will be hurt by other inmates, apart from verbal abuse.

Mostly he wiill be treated like other prisoners. He will have access to TV and newspapers, but no internet connection. He has freedom of speech like anyone else, but every letter he sends and receives is read by prison staff. Rehabilitation is sought also for him, but few believe there's any hope for improvement.

Currently he has access to a laptop with little more than a word processor, that was an agreement between him and the police, to make him talk. That will probably be taken away from him now.

Sure our pentalites are gentle compared to for instance the US. And conditions in Norwegian prisons aren't exactly harsh. But our criminal system (correct english?), including the 21 year max penalty term is widely supported among politicians and in the public. Sure there is some disagreement, but not much. The lastest revisions of our penalty laws have been unanimously decided in parliament.

There is some debate now whether we should allow more than 21 years punishment for the extreme cases like this one. As I've said elsewhere we don't have any means to differantiate between killing one or 2 people under aggravating circumnstances and killing 77. I think that will change, but I don't think we'll ever sentence anyone to a full lifetime behind bars, or more than one lifetime. Probably we'll end up with something between 30 and 40 years. (NB! We already have the faciltity to keep people in detention more than 21 years, but only if it's needed to protect society from danger. The court can order 5 more years repeatedly after 21 years if and only if the prisoner is still dangerous. The severity of the crime is not considered)

All in all, I think changes will be fairly minor. We have a system that works well in our society. Crime rate is low, recurrence rate is fairly low, and I don't see the need for much change. NB! I'm not saying that this is how you should do things in your countries, only what I think works here.

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August 27th, 2012, 20:17
Hasn't it been demonstrated that retributive justice systems don't work? For example, the 3 strike law in California has now filled our prisons up to the brim with non-violent criminals (mainly drug related crimes). The scare tactic doesn't seem to be working. Scare tactics are pushed by non-thinking neanderthals, it seems.
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August 27th, 2012, 20:30
3 Strikes is a good idea misapplied. Problem 1 is that it's rather silly to have it cover drug offenses in a state where the people are clearly pushing to legalize every drug they can (not judging that attitude—it is what it is). Problem 2 is that prison doesn't scare anyone these days, let alone the folks that are willing to break the law repeatedly. Problem 3 is that the law was thrown out there without proper planning for the future impact, within the court systems, the prison systems, and the law enforcement systems.

In some respects, it's kinda like ObamaCare—a nice idea that got politicized into a complete turd of a law that produced such a complete clusterfuck that it becomes overly easy to attack the idea rather than the horrible implementation.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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August 27th, 2012, 21:01
The worse thing is that these nonviolent offenders are thrown into a cesspool of gangbangers and killers, and when they come out are turned into hardened violent criminals. Great fucked up criminal justice system we have here. It's not much better anywhere else in the US, though.
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