Norway's Ila prison is expecting a new inmate in a month or so. Our pal Anders Breivik, the man who managed to kill 77 fellow human beings in a single day last summer, appears headed to that august facility. Anticipation is such that a new wing, being built just for him, is near completion. The construction may give us a hint as to the direction the Norwegian judicial system is leaning in this case. Apparently the prison officials don't believe that Breivik will be declared insane, which, of course, he is. Obviously the Norwegians understand that there is a huge difference between knowing a guy is a deadly psychopath and legally declaring him as such. The rules change when that happens. Psychiatrists get involved and they are not a trade to be trusted, especially when it comes to mental illness. Some therapist, full of him, or herself, is liable to spend a few months chatting with Anders and then because of their astute counseling declare him cured.
No, that wouldn't do at all. The Norwegians may have the most liberal sense of justice and punishment in the world, but they probably aren't prepared to let this maniac walk after a couple of doses of Valium and a few confessions about his relationship with his mother. In fact they consider him so dangerous they are not willing to let him mingle with the general population of the prison, for fear he will inflict further mayhem. It is an interesting school of thought. In the United States we would have isolated him because the reigning theory locally is that the goof wouldn't last a day in the exercise yard before someone shoved a shiv into his gut fifteen or twenty times.
Norwegians being Norwegian are now looking for professional friends to interact with their future guest. They believe twenty-one years of isolation is simply too cruel. These, "friends" would, I suppose, be trained in all manner of self defense and will be paid to chat, play chess, and participate in other activities with inmate Breivik.
The Norwegians have what maybe the lowest rate of repeat offenders in the world. It stands at only twenty percent. Maybe what they have and will be doing is right. The stats seem to validate their attitude toward and their treatment of the criminal element. However, one suspects in this instance they know they are dealing with a completely different breed of cat. Letting a convicted thief have the key to his own room and free run of the grounds is one thing. Dealing with a complete monster who looked into the faces of the vast majority of his victims right before he shot them is another.
Meanwhile, back in Florida someone else is headed to the lockup. George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, had his bail revoked by Judge Kenneth Lester. He ruled Zimmerman and his family "engaged in material falsehood" during the bond hearing last month. Assistant State Attorney, Bernie de la Rionda put it more bluntly. He said when Zimmerman's wife led the court to believe the family was penniless it was a "blantant lie."
This all came about because the Zimmermans forgot to mention a web site that was soliciting donations for a defense fund. Before the site was taken down it raked in what was initially reported as $200,000 plus, although the latest figure being talked about is around $134,000.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Martins, jumped all over it. He is saying this goes to prove that Zimmerman is not credible, which is far more polite than calling him a liar and that the entire defense depends on his credibility. He has a point. If Dead Eye George lied about a few hundred thousand dollars to get out on bail, you can only imagine the fabrications he'll spew when it comes to not doing hard time. Mr. Zimmerman will probably be held in isolated protective custody, however it is all but certain the state of Florida will not solicit the public for paid "friends" to keep him company.
It was a weird week. In Oklahoma City two people were charged in the murder of Kelsey Bransby. In Norway Anders Breivik is looking for friends. In Florida George Zimmerman will soon be wearing the orange jump suit once again. It seems birds are coming home to roost everywhere and they are all calling out, "forever more, forever more."
Infinitus est numerus stultorum.