Friday, July 17, 2015

Political Science: The Best & Brightest

Look at who is the latest political science major:

Yes people, that's  Anders Breivik, newly matriculated at the University of Oslo to major in......

.....Political Science!!!

The future of the discipline is in good hands.

*****Bonus Snark********

Do you know what Norway gave him for killing 77 people?

21 years.

That's a little over  3 months per victim.


affenkopf said...

Still better than the American system.

Matt said...

Do you know what Norway gave him for killing 77 people?

21 years.

That's a little over 3 months per victim.

Nords that I know tell me this is misleading because his sentence can be extended if his is still "deemed to be a danger to society" at the end of his term. They assure me that he will be. Of course, that itself is unjust, in two ways. If the answer is pre-determined, then it's a failure of the rule of law in that way. But, it's also unjust to imprison people merely because of dangerousness. So, unless one thinks that 21 years is an appropriate sentence for his acts, and hopes he'll get out after that, then there is good reason to think that Norway will add to the injustice.

Of course, it's possible to think that the American criminal justice system typically and systematically over-punishes, and yet think this is a case of gross under-punishment, one that fails to show proper respect to the victims of Brevik.

Peter Gerdes said...


Why not just look at his punishment as "life in prison with the potential for release after 21 years if he no longer seems to pose a danger." I presume the Norweigan system doesn't allow someone convicted of assault to be kept in jail indefinatly if they are viewed as a danger so it seems more appropriate to view the dangerousness determination as an analog of the US system of parole.

Secondly, you need to distingush between legally pre-determined and highly probable. When Damer was arrested and pieces of victims found in his freezer it would have been wrong to have a show trial whose verdict was pre-determined. However, it was obvious that he would certainly be convicted in a fair trial but that didn't render the verdict legally pre-determined. Presumably, a similar sort of thing is true in this case.

mike shupp said...

I think it's intolerable that a serious poly sci student should be convicted of murder and be sitting in prison for 21 long years (and perhaps more) for his offenses. He should be majoring in finance.