Thursday, March 15, 2007

On Prisoners

"28. februar 2007 befinner Pham seg inne på Club Kamikaze i Oslo", says Aftenposten 15 March 2007 (

For those who have not not followed this story, the short version is that an individual was murdered in Oslo, possibly in the context of some shady transactions among people involved in the restaurant / entertainement business in Oslo.

The interesting thing is that one of the main suspects was, at the time, serving a 21 year sentence for a previous murder. Apparently he was not subjected to particularly onerous conditions: he was allowed leave almost on a weekly basis. Hence - as indicated in the first sentence (in Norwegian), he was at Club Kamikaze in Oslo on 28 28 February.

Can anyone explain how someone who has been sentenced to 21 years prison (the most severe sentence available to a Norwegian court) is allowed to visit a nightclub more than 100 kms away from his prison cell? Is there any point to the incarceration of this individual at all?

Moreover, from other press reports, it appears that the murder of which this individual is now accused was planned from witin the prison, and involved other prisoners in other prisons: can anyone explain this?

We have a tradition of giving people another opportunity, and a third or an eleventh. That is good and positive. People can make a whole strong of stupid mistakes and still turn out OK. But there is a difference between your common-or-garden variety burglar,  and people who 
have been described by  professionals as  "en person med mangelfullt utviklede sjelsevner, på bakgrunn av mange nevrotiske og personlighetsavvikende trekk, hvor også manglende selvinnsikt kommer inn." (Aftenposten, ibid). 

To translate, informally, someone who is a nutcase. And he is given the opportunity to continue to operate from within the prison, and someone ends up dead.

Well done, systen!


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