Norway mass killer deemed insane by psychiatrists
Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik was insane when he killed 77 people in a bomb and shooting rampage in Norway, and should be sent to a psychiatric ward instead of prison, prosecutors said Tuesday.
A psychiatric evaluation ordered by an Oslo court found that Breivik was "psychotic" during the July 22 attacks — the country's worst peacetime massacre — which means he's not mentally fit to be sentenced to prison, prosecutors told reporters.
The conclusions, which will be reviewed by a panel of forensic psychiatrists, contrasted with comments made by the head of that board after the attacks. Dr. Tarjei Rygnestad at the time told The Associated Press that it was unlikely that Breivik would be declared legally insane because the attacks were so carefully planned and executed.
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"The conclusions of the forensic experts is that Anders Behring Breivik was insane," prosecutor Svein Holden said, adding Breivik was in a state of psychosis during the attacks.
In their report, the experts describe a man "who finds himself in his own delusional universe, where all his thoughts and acts are governed by these delusions," Holden said. "They conclude that Anders Behring Breivik during a long period of time has developed the mental disorder of paranoid schizophrenia, which has changed him and made him into the person he is today."
In Norway, an insanity defense requires that a defendant be in a state of psychosis while committing the crime with which he or she is charged. That means the defendant has lost contact with reality to the point that he's no longer in control of his own actions.
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The 243-page report will be reviewed by a panel from the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine, which could ask for additional information and add its own opinions.
On Tuesday, Rygnestad, who heads that board told AP that his comments in July were based on "secondary information" and that a person's mental state can only be determined through in-depth analysis. He said he had not read the full report yet.