Norway searches for a punishment to fit the crime

Anders Behring Breivik , the Norwegian terrorist, made his first court appearance in Oslo today, indicating he expects to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Theoretically, the “rest of his life” can be defined as 16 years.

That was the most shocking — to me — nugget that came out of Scott Simon’s interview on Saturday with Halvard Sandberg, a reporter for the Norwegian broadcasting corporation.

“This person, he will be convicted,” Sandberg said. “with the harshest penalty we can give him, which is 21 years. That means he is out after 16 years. He might be out after 14 years. He might be a free man. And he killed so many. We don’t have laws that can lay out a penalty for what he has done.”

Sandberg says that’s the biggest topic of conversation in Norway right now.

The Associated Press reports that it might be possible for Norway to continue to incarcerate the man behind Friday’s attacks by declaring him a threat to society.