Norway seems unlikely to rachet up its criminal penalties for terrorism based on the case of Anders Behring Breivik, charged with murdering 76 people, says USA Today. Breivik would face a maximum 21-year prison sentence, possibly 30 years if charged with crimes against humanity. The newspaper Aftenposten reported that 71,000 of 97,000 members of one organization said Norway should not reinstate the death penalty for Brievik.
Still, “There will be more momentum for those who opine that the Norwegian penalties are too lenient,” said Helge Lurås, a terrorism expert at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Only 25 percent of Norwegians favor of the death penalty, far lower than in th U.S. “My sense is that people tend to feel that the penitentiary system and the penalties are insufficiently punitive” in Norway, Lurås said. “But I think most Norwegians perceive the U.S. criminal system to be far too harsh.”