Friday, August 24, 2012

More on Breivik

The Washington Post reports that a Norwegian court sentenced Anders Behring Breivik to prison on Friday, denying prosecutors the insanity ruling they hoped would show that his massacre of 77 people was the work of a madman, not part of an anti-Muslim crusade. In a reversal of my expectations the prosecution continued to argue that he was insane while the defense argued that he was an anti-Muslim terrorist. Importantly Breivik wanted to be considered a terrorist. As I said in my earlier post this seems significant in showing that insanity is two edged in that it can be used both as an exculpating defense and a delegitimizing accusation. 
I recently learned David Mark Chapman,  who was convicted for murdering John Lennon in 1980 also refused an opportunity to plead insanity and insisted on pleading guilty.