A court in Norway has sentenced mass murderer Anders Breivik to a prison term. The sentencing denied the prosecutors the ruling of insanity they were hoping for in order to show the massacre of 77 people was carried out by a madman, not because of an anti-Muslim crusade.
When the ruling was announced Breivik smiled in court with apparent satisfaction. He was sentenced to preventive detention, which means he probably will never leave prison. With the sentence, formal closure of the incident that took place on July 22 of last year is made since his lawyers said prior to the ruling he would not appeal the ruling if it did not declare he was insane.
However, the ruling also means that Breivik received what he wished for: a ruling painting him as the political terrorist he wanted instead of a psychotic executioner. Since Breivik was arrested, he has said his attack was meant to bring attention to his ideology that is extremely right wing and to inspire an uprising of militant nationalists throughout Europe.
At the trial, prosecutors argued Breivik was not sane when he plotted the massacre and bombing to bring attention to his rambling manifesto that blamed the increase in Muslim immigration for European society’s disintegration.
Breivik countered the prosecutors by saying that authorities wanted to cast him as insane to cast doubt over his political views. He said during his trial that if he were sent to an asylum for the insane, it would be the worst thing that could ever happen to him.
The panel of judges in the district court in Oslo convicted Breivik unanimously of premeditated murder and terrorism. They ordered he be held for between 10 and 21 years, which is Norway’s maximum. However, sentences such as his can be extended as long as authorities considered the inmate too dangerous. Legal experts believe Breivik will never spend another day outside prison.