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Norway’s Mass Killer could be declared clinically insane

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Anders Behring Breivik, the ethnocentric Norwegian gunman who mowed down scores of people (many of whom were children) killing 77 in a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway earlier this year, could be declared legally insane.

The terrorist, who took on the guise of an obsessed World of Warcraft player to avoid suspicion and who cited Modern Warfare 2 as a form of combat training in his 1500 page manifesto could, as a result, spend the next decade or three in a psychiatric ward instead of prison, or well, rightfully dead.

Having read the In a 243-page report by psychiatrists Torgeir Husby and Synne Soerheim that paints Breivik as a loony, Prosecutor Svein Holden told AP that “the conclusion did not come as a surprise." In it, he’s described as somebody "who finds himself in his own delusional universe, where all his thoughts and acts are governed by these delusions." 

"They conclude,” says  Holden “that Anders Behring Breivik during a long period of time has developed the mental disorder of paranoid schizophrenia, which has changed him and made him into the person he is today."

In Norway, an insanity defense requires that the  defendant be in “a state of psychosis while committing the crime, “ where the defendant is so out of tune with reality that they’re no longer in control of his their actions.

for that reason, another psychoanalyst, Anders Forsman believes him to just be unhinged. "It is difficult to see this as criminal insanity,"  he said to AP. "He seems to have carried out the killings in a rational way. He is an efficient killing machine." I’m loathe to admit it I don’t think Brevik really deserves anything less than the harshest sentence – even if that’s death. I don’t exactly condone the death penalty, but to have this person, a child-killer who shows no remorse or guilt be a drain on Norwegian tax money just seems wrong.

Norway has no death penalty – so depending on the outcome of this latest development Breivik will either be spending the remainder of his days in prison, or in a psychiatric hospital. Taking a look at Norwegian prisons, maybe the loony bin is the better punishment.

Last Updated: November 30, 2011

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