It is theoretically possible that Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass-murderer who gunned down 77 people in July, could walk free in just three years time.
While such a scenario is still improbable, the opportunity was opened after psychiatrists declared Breivik insane. They claimed he was suffering from schizophrenia while carrying out the attacks, which included setting up a bomb, and that he was not entirely responsible for his actions. The sentence may confine him to a mental institution and help him escape prison time all together, The Telegraph reported.
It is expected he will be sentenced to a mental hospital for life, but if after three years a judge rules that he is better and no longer poses a threat to the public, he may be able to leave the institution. Considering Breivik’s insistence that he is fighting for his country against a Muslim takeover, it is unlikely he will be toning down his nationalistic rhetoric any time soon.
Breivik called himself a “Knight Templar,” comparing himself to Christian crusaders of ancient times. He admitted that his actions were “atrocious,” but he also deemed them necessary to protect the “great Nordic race.”
The Norwegian persecutor, Christian Hatlo, claimed Breivik was disappointed with the decision, as the mass-murder did not believe the prognosis applied to him.
“He said he had feared that conclusion, but didn’t think it would come,” the lawyer explained. “It didn’t appear that he accepted it.”
Although many were surprised by the decision to declare him insane, especially considering how well-planned and detailed the attacks appeared, it has been seen as a possible strategy to isolate the mass-murderer and not allow him to preach his rhetoric in prison and gain a following.
At a mental hospital, it is hoped his influence would be greatly reduced, and the nation will be allowed to heal and move on.