Sunday, July 24, 2011

Norwegian Terror and the Death Penalty

I don't have time to look up all the relevant information, because I'm not supposed to sit for very long, but I want to express an opinion on the Norwegian killer.

This morning on TV I heard the statement made that Norway had a 21 year maximum sentence, and that the alleged killer (see, correct use of the word alleged) would be out by the time he is 53. This was not an opinion from an interview, but it was part of the written script for the newscast. Apparently, even though my doctor says I should limit my sitting down time, I still do more research than a professional editor for a TV news program.

The truth is that Norwegian law has qualifications about people who are a public danger, so it's unlikely he will ever be released.

But more interesting is the implication that American justice is better then Norwegian. After the analogous Oklahoma bombing, Timothy McVeigh was executed. But that did not satisfy the survivors who felt that one execution was simply not enough to give them closure. They managed to execute another random person who had nothing to do with the bombing, just to send a message to the bad guys.

The other execution came about because the Oklahoma survivors went to Washington to pass a new law to put an end to delaying tactics being exploited by death row inmates. Once this law passed, and the first death row inmate was executed under the speedier provisions, they were satisfied that justice was really done.

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