CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, July 25, 2011

Norwegian Shooter Faces 21-Year Maximum Sentence (Kolber)--UPDATED

According to this article, the suspect in the shootings in Norway that killed 93 people faces a maximum of twenty-one years' incarceration if convicted:

The fact that Norway's maximum penalty for any crime is 21 years in prison is facing rising criticism in the wake of the twin attacks that killed 93 people, with many deeming the penalty too lax.

Ever since Norwegian media named 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik as the prime suspect, calls have been growing for the maximum penalty under the Norwegian penal code to be extended.

If found guilty, Behring Breivik's 21 years in prison would equal a penalty of 82 days per killing.

UPDATE: The death toll has been revised.  According to more current numbers, seventy-six deaths have been confirmed.


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This is not completely accurate. In addition to the 21 year sentence the court can impose "forvaring" if it determines that the defendant poses a significant risk to society. In theory, the court can incarcerate the gunman for life by giving him 21 years in prison and the maximum 21 years in "forvaring." When the period of "forvaring" expires, the court can renew it for an additional 5 years until it determines that the prisoner no longer poses a risk to society. That being said, Norway has never put anyone away for life and is unlikely to do so even in a case like this, but it is very unlikely that the gunman will receive only 21 years in prison.

Posted by: Sarah T | Jul 25, 2011 11:25:43 AM

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