Life is cheap in Europe

Article Highlights

  • Anders Behring Breivik was given the maximum sentence for his crime in Norway: 21 years.

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  • .@AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt does the math on Anders Behring Breivik’s sentence. Less than 100 days per murder.

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  • What does it say about an “enlightened” European country that it should evaluate its lost lives as being worth so little?

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Norway’s one-man Rassenreinheitseinsatzgruppe (Google translate it), Anders Behring Breivik, was just given the maximum for his crime in Norway: 21 years.

That’s right: 77 murders (mainly at a summer camp for immigrant children), 21 years.

The demographer in me has to do the arithmetic: This works out to less than 100 days per murder. That’s right: less than a summer per murder.

Of course, civilized Europeans would never extradite a Julian Assange to a place like America, where the death penalty is a possibility for certain offenses. Because the death penalty is savage and inhuman.

But what does it say about an “enlightened” European country that it should evaluate its own immigrant children’s lost lives as being worth so very, very little?

On a happy note: Mr. Breivik is today 33 years old — meaning that he would get out of prison at age 54 with the “book thrown at him” sentence.

According to the Human Mortality Database, an average 54-year-old Norwegian man today could expect another 27 years of life.

Fortunately, and oh-so-humanely, Mr. Breivik’s Europeanly-severe sentence will thus deprive him of freedom for less than half of his likely remaining days.

 — Nicholas Eberstadt holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute.

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About the Author

 

Nicholas
Eberstadt
  • Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist and a demographer by training, is also a senior adviser to the National Bureau of Asian Research, a member of the visiting committee at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a member of the Global Leadership Council at the World Economic Forum. He researches and writes extensively on economic development, foreign aid, global health, demographics, and poverty. He is the author of numerous monographs and articles on North and South Korea, East Asia, and countries of the former Soviet Union. His books range from The End of North Korea (AEI Press, 1999) to The Poverty of the Poverty Rate (AEI Press, 2008).

     

  • Phone: 202.862.5825
    Email: eberstadt@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Alex Coblin
    Phone: 202.419.5215
    Email: alex.coblin@aei.org

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