justice vs retribution

Posted: April 21, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

justice vs retribution

The smiling, fist-pumping mass murderer Anders Breivik is currently on trial in Oslo for the heinous crime of seventy seven murders.  He has requested either acquittal or the death sentence.  He is a hate-filled ego-maniac who has dressed his actions up in quasi race war terminology; obviously sees himself as some sort of Norwegian latter day crusader fighting the good fight against the march of pan-European Islam.  To its credit Norway has conducted the trial thus far with full and transparent legal procedure.  Norway remains near the top of any meaningful measure of modern life like wealth, health and equality. The question for me remains;  justice or retribution?  Retribution i.e. the state sponsored murder of Breivik would satisfy in the short term; on one level he undoubtedly deserves it.  However, as an opponent of the death penalty I try and see the case from a justice point of view.  Capital punishment seems not to deter the murderous, the insane or the fanatic and there is much evidence of wrongly convicted state murders.  The problem then remains how does a justice system begin to cope with something as terrible as the crimes of Breivik? It is a complicated situation that has absolutely no easy solution.  I would suggest that Norway, thus far, has got it about right but I am (somewhat morbidly) fascinated as to how this trial will play out.

  1. Free Thinker Journal says:

    It’s a challenge for Norwegian law and court. In my country, person like Breivik will automatically end up in bullet(s). I oppose death penalty, but does not justify what he had done deserves easy play. We’ll see…

  2. Torbjorn O.K. says:

    There hasn’t been a lot of debate in Norway about whether or not Breivik should get the death penalty, simply because it’s not a part of our legal system. To add to it, Behring Breivik himself has declared that the death penalty is the only way to punish him for his crimes. Because of this, I guess a few of those who initially meant that a state sponsored killing of ABB was the right thing to do, now have second thoughts. Who wants to agree with a mass-murderer?

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