Norwegian prosecutors have asked for convicted mass murderer Anders Breivik to be transferred to a mental institution, rather than face prison. It is likely, however, that the defense will dispute the request, because, as Breivik has stated in the past, he believes that putting his sanity on trial is the prosecution’s way of rendering his cause, and commitment to it, ridiculous.
Brevick is being tried for Norway’s largest peacetime massacre of 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage that left the peaceable country reeling. In the court of public opinion, a ruling of insanity would render his acts not those of the anti-Muslim political crusader he holds himself to be, but those of a violent psycho whose politics are the mere ravings of a lunatic.
One of the largest challenges to Breivik’s claims of sanity is his insistence that he belongs to a militant anti-Muslim network modeled after the Knights Templar, who were notoriously disbanded on Friday, October 13, 1307, on the orders of the King of France. Investigators, who have been unable to ascertain such a network’s existence, much less any evidence of active cells in Norway, dispute Breivik’s claim.
That Breivik’s was psychotic during the actual slaughter is not in question, but during the trial two teams of psychiatrists reached opposite conclusions regarding his general level of sanity. One diagnosed Breivik with paranoid schizophrenia, which would mean he was not responsible for his actions, as horrible as they may have been; the other declared him sane, though dissocial and narcissistic, but ultimately responsible for his actions.
If the judge denies the prosecution’s request, they have stated that they are will ask for 21 years in prison for Breivik. A judgment is expected to be rendered next month.