Numerous opinions concerning low or, for some, ridiculous punishment for Breivik have been irritating me lately. Internet is full of outraged Internet users’ comments, who envy the convict conditions in which he will be living. The thing about prisons is that getting into them is relatively easy, especially when someone really wants it and is determined. So where there’s a will there’s a way, I suggest that the outraged should go to Norway and for example beat somebody. I’m curious what they will say after, let’s say, several months spent in even the most luxurious prison. It is said that Breivik will have better conditions than average Polish student, not to mention pensioners. It’s just that between the student’s lot living in a dorm and Anders Breivik’s lot there is, I think, quite substantial difference. The first one can leave the dorm whenever he wants and the second one for at least 21 years, and judging by the current behavior, for the rest of his life will be looking at the same three rooms, which would make every mentally healthy man sick after just one week.
The Norwegian judicial system is not based on primitive revenge but on the belief that the society, which the judges represent can’t treat anyone to hell on earth, as it is happening in Russia or even in our country where the prisons under the guards’ watchful eye are dominated by violence, ghastly conditions and rapes. In other words the society and especially its institutions can’t be as bad as a criminal. But if in the United States they lock pedophile in a cell with rapists, they sink to that pedophile’s moral level, don’t they? I think that the most important is to preclude such person from doing harm to others and this function is fulfilled by long term sentences or life imprisonment in case of bad prognosis.
In addition, it should be noted that the convict apart from being an oppressor is undoubtedly a victim. Would anyone of us want to be him? Does anyone envy him? This man’s behavior is, in my opinion, pathetic and arouse intense feeling of anger, however this anger is being canalized by the fact that he has been fairly judged and punished according to our principles, not his – our means respecting human dignity and rights (even the worst ones) – aiming at isolation, not destroying them. I think that nobody can be ill-treated because it would tell of us that we are sadists, that we are bad but on the other side. That’s way we shouldn’t be concerned about Breivik’s respect to capital punishment only, because they aren’t his principles that govern in Norway.
The penalty inflicted by the Norwegian court satisfied my sense of justice and what’s more important, their legal system or its philosophy hasn’t been changed by one narcissist or opinions of journalists form less developed countries.
Translation: Katarzyna Kołodziej