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If I was the defense attorney I'd go for "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity" ruling.

Personally, I think this is a clear-cut case for the death penalty.  The guy committed mass murder.  He is almost certainly somewhere in the sociopathic-psychopathic spectrum, for which there is no known cure.  He cannot be released from incarceration for the term of his life as he is a clear and present danger to society and individuals.  He is going to have to be guarded and supported by society ... at colossal expense for the next 50 years, or so.  Kill the bugger off and be done with it.

But I've never claimed to be all that Civilized.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 02:14:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do realize that in the US at least, it's far more expensive (for the state) to deal with death penalty law than to incarcerate him for life.

And who are you to say anyone, including him, must die?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 02:26:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No matter the situation, the death penalty is wrong,

not because of anything to do with the person who is being executed, but because it says things about us. Do we really want to lower ourselves to their level?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 02:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More to the point, do you really want to create a government bureaucracy whose mission statement includes killing off their own citizens?

If you do, I have two words for you: Mission creep.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 02:54:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or creepy mission.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 03:29:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You said it better than i, but that was my intent.


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 03:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think we have the right to decide collectively, in cold blood, to put someone to death.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 03:37:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure about this, to tell the truth.
I rationnally understand that it is not a good thing to put someone to death, nevertheless, I'm not entirely convinced that this could/should apply to politically oriented crime, in the sense that the criminal here wishes to destroy the country in which he is living, included its laws.

This guy has as objectives to overwelm democracy in a european country. Would this happen in France, I believe it would qualify as organising an insurrection (attempt to destroy the institutions of the Republic by violence), crime that would involve the maximum prison time (death penalty before 1981): 30 years, no reduction.

A free fox in a free henhouse!

by Xavier in Paris on Wed Jul 27th, 2011 at 05:10:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can find contrived scenarios that make very nearly any punishment or investigation technique at least ethically debatable.

The more important question is whether you ever going to find yourself in a situation where you have enough armed revolutionaries that finding prison space for them becomes a genuine logistical problem? If so, you are already experiencing an armed revolution, during which the whole "rule of law" thing, judging by historical experience, tends to go out the window anyway.

As long as you're only looking at a couple of political assassins every decade, scattered all across the EU, I can see no justification - in simple practical terms - for establishing a whole bureaucracy dedicated to killing them off legally. A bureaucracy that will, in all the time it does not have any political assassins to kill, have to justify its existence by dreaming up ever broader categories of crimes that might make it ethically palatable to treat people to a bullet in the back of the head.

So even sidestepping the question of whether it is ethical to put revolutionaries to death - I would still argue that it isn't - such a penalty would either be an expensive boondoogle or an invitation to broaden the penalty to more pedestrian crimes, in order to satisfy the needs of petty bureaucratic empire building.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jul 27th, 2011 at 10:32:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the question of whether it is ethical to put revolutionaries to death - I would still argue that it isn't

Depends on whether the regime is legitimate. If so, then during an insurrection, shoot-to-kill, or even summary execution up to a point, is fine by me. After the fact (with due process), certainly not.

Borderline case : mercenaries captured during coup attempts. Tidiest solution: accidental extra-judicial death.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jul 27th, 2011 at 11:04:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't trying to make the case that it's unethical to shoot hostile irregulars before they surrender, only after they have done so.

Of course, in practise during a serious insurrection (and even during a not-so-serious one - see, e.g., the alleged suicides of German RAF members in prison) rebels are going to get summarily executed. And while nobody will complain very loudly about that, it still doesn't make a good legal precedent.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jul 27th, 2011 at 12:15:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And in cold hard realpolitik terms, a regime that will not kill to defend its existence cannot survive in the long run.

But this guy is no threat to the Norwegian regime. He organized no insurrection, and even if he had, the regime would have handled it easily. If you execute him, you open the door to execution of the silly black b(ol)locs who smash windows, shrieking "Paris, lève-toi!".

If a regime gets near the tipping point, insurrectionaries will logically be shot on sight. Executing them after the fact is not very effective really.

In practice anyway, Norway has a law that enables them to renew his lease on a prison cell every five years. So logically he'll never be free again.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jul 27th, 2011 at 10:55:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I was the defense attorney I'd go for "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity" ruling.

That will get him locked up just as tightly, only in a mental ward instead of a prison. The rules for releasing the (by then hopefully formerly) criminally insane patients grant a lot more discretionary power to the wardens of such facilities than the rules for probation from prison sentences. Which usually means that rich and well connected murderers are released after much less time than swarthy poor ones.

But it's a moot point, because Scandinavian murderers have experienced a veritable revolution in their mental state over the past fifty years, to such an extent that they are almost universally declared to be sane in the eyes of the law. Whether this has something to do with political pressure to be "tough on crime" is a judgement I will leave to the reader.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 02:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am also against death penalty...generally.
But if, God forbid, someone would kill one member of my family, I would be able to kill him. Simple as that. I would not wait for government to do it.  I do not see how one can be "civilised" in this kind of situation...ever. But hey I may be just a wild and " primitive" Serb, haha.
I just hope God will spare me of those kinds of temptations...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 07:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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