Hard time in Norway

If he survives his prison's rock-climbing wall and mini-bar, killer gets out in 21

Stores in Norway may be selling out of torches and pitchforks.

There is a possibility that Anders Behring Breivik, confessed murderer of nearly 100 innocent men, women and children, will be sentenced to only 21 years in prison, max. Not only that, but his likely prison sounds more like a trendy resort -- with a rock-climbing wall, music recording studio, and mini-fridge in each inmate's "cell."

Needless to say, not all of the loved ones of the victims, folks around the world -- or Norwegians themselves -- are pleased.

Certainly, Norway's rates of crimes and incarcerations are much lower in comparison to America. But while many around the world like to point indignantly to America's death penalty, Norway's criminal justice system seems overly criminal-friendly. Some of its prisons are located on an island where the inmates work on a farm, help rebuild barns and, by doing so, are supposed to realize the error of their ways before re-entering society.

Such an approach may work in some classes of crime with some categories of criminal. But our friends in Norway may soon discover that their system is painfully lax on monsters such as the mass killer of Oslo.

This wanton reprobate paraded around as a police officer pretending to offer young campers protection right before he shot them at point blank range -- claiming it was "necessary" that he slaughter hordes of innocents to prove some demented point.

No amount of time alone with a rock wall will rehabilitate this loony loner. Anders Behring Breivik should never be released back into society, and certainly not in 21 years or less. He has already warned that he intends to spend the rest of his life in jail; if he's released, he may only seek ways to return.

But even if he gets out of prison, does not kill anyone, and is living quietly in the city as a fully changed man, the angry and devastated loved ones of the victims will have only suffered their loss for 21 agonizing years -- only to see the killer enjoying life as a free man among them.

And, if there were any torches and pitchforks left in the country, they might just be turned on him.

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