Breivik Is Sane, Insists ... Defense
Prosecutors disagree as testimony wraps up
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 22, 2012 8:36 AM CDT
Anders Behring Breivik seen in court in Oslo, Friday, June 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/Heiko Junge/pool)

(Newser) – It's not exactly the way you'd expect things to shake out: Prosecutors want Anders Breivik ruled criminally insane—but the confessed killer's own lawyers say he knew what he was doing, Reuters reports. "Breivik wishes to be punished for his actions—that is, to be treated as criminally sane by the court," one said today, the last day of testimony. Given Breivik's political motivations, "to see his actions as an expression of illness is to take away a basic human right, the right to take responsibility for one's own actions."

Sanity would mean prison time for their client, rather than time in a mental institution, which is what prosecutors sought yesterday, the New York Times notes. Psychiatric reports on Breivik differ: One calls him a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic—qualifying him as criminally insane—while the other diagnoses him with a personality disorder. The defense backs the latter. The prosecution acknowledges that his mental state isn't clear, but "in our opinion, it is worse that a psychotic person is sentenced to preventive detention than a nonpsychotic person is sentenced to compulsory mental health care." Breivik himself, who spoke up this week, is expected to take the stand today.