Life Is Cheap in Europe

by Nicholas Eberstadt

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.