Norwegian VS American Justice Systems; Why is Norway So Fast?

The Norwegian justice system managed to try the man who murdered 77 young people, in less than 12 months. Somehow, they were able to empanel a jury, conduct the investigation, and carry out the trial in a swift and efficient manner. It seems to me that such a trial in the USA would take much longer-there wold be interminable delays, continuances, etc. Take the OJ Simpson trial-it went on for much longer.
In any case, is the Norwegian system all that different from the American? If not, why was the trial so swift?

Lawyers are cold-blooded creatures and need to stay in a warm climate.

Of course their system is vastly different from ours. Their sentencing has a fairly low maximum, and they don’t have the death penalty. I’m sure there are other factors (and I’m not familiar with their legal system beyond the above), but not having to dither about life in prison or putting him to death sped it up significantly.

One factor in this case may be that there is no real question about his guilt, only his sanity. Much of the investigation and trial has about whether they should send him to prison or a mental institution. And, in a weird twist, the prosecutor advocates the mental institution while Brevik wants to go prison(if the court won’t accept his claims about necessity :rolleyes:).

There are a lot fewer criminals in Norway.

I don’t think Norway actually uses juries. I think they just have part-time lay judges that sit alongside the presiding judge like in Germany.

It’s complicated, but yes, in most cases the first trial will have two professional and three lay judges. Juries are mostly for appeals.

Being a small country also helps speed the justice system along. A strong desire to get the trial over with didn’t hurt a bit, either; many of the survivors dreaded testifying, for one thing, and it seemed unnecessarily cruel to keep them waiting any longer than necessary. And it was a blessing for the whole country to get a certain person off the front pages of the newspapers.

Incidentally, a report ordered by the government on what went wrong that day and what could be improved is due this coming Monday. (Teachers’ first day back to work, so thankfully I’ll have something else to fill my time.) The verdict is due the 24th of this month.

Isn’t it all about the fact that he pleaded guilty? And doesn’t the recent batman killer case illustrate that a plea of guilty will be dealt with by the US just as quickly? I think the OP misses the point.

No, Anders Behring Breivik didn’t plead guilty. From Wikipedia, “When asked to plead after hearing the charge-sheet, Breivik responded that he acknowledged that he had committed the offences, but pleaded not guilty because he was acting out of ‘necessity’ (Norwegian: nødrett). A court translator incorrectly rendered this as ‘self-defence’ (Norwegian: nødverge), but court officials corrected the error on the second day.”

Edited to add, I’m not sure why a translator was involved. Isn’t he Norwegian?

Well I don’t think a trial on that basis is going to take very long.

I think the premise carries a lot of confirmation bias.

The DC sniper was convicted 14 months after capture. It took two years to convict Timothy McVeigh, but that included a change of venue and death-penalty pretrial stuff. Ronald Simmons, who killed 16 people (mostly among his own family) was convicted six months after capture. George Emil Banks shot 13 people and was convicted in 9 months.

On the other hand, it took four years to complete the trial of Richard Ramirez. And it took two years just to get a plea deal with Eric Rudolph.

I would assume it was for the benefit of the foreign media.

In many cases delays in trials in the US happen because of multiple motions by the defense and things like suppression hearings. All of which needs to be scheduled and heard in court. If there isn’t that much manuvering then it doesn’t take nearly as long.

In the U.S. many lawyers become politicians.

The longer the case/more appeals etc. the more money they make.

And thats what its all about , not justice.