Life imprisonment in Norway
The sentence of life imprisonment under Norwegian law is restricted to the military penal code (e.g., for aiding the enemy during a time of war). In the civilian penal code, a law passed in 2002 allows for an indeterminate penalty that could in principle result in life imprisonment. The first Norwegian prisoner ever sentenced to the so-called "21 years preventive detention" (Norwegian: 21 års forvaring) was Viggo Kristiansen, who was convicted of murder and rape.
Maximum penalty under Norwegian law
There are three types of maximum penalty laws:
- The maximum penalty under the military penal code is life imprisonment.
- The maximum determinate penalty (civilian penal code) is 21 years' imprisonment, but only a small percentage of prisoners serve more than 14 years. Prisoners will typically get unsupervised parole for weekends, etc. after serving a third of their sentence (a maximum of 7 years), and can receive early release after serving two thirds of their sentence (a maximum of 14 years). In 2008, to fulfill its requirements under the Rome Statute, Norway created a new maximal penalty of 30 years for crimes against humanity.
- The indeterminate penalty (civilian penal code), called "preventive detention" (Norwegian: forvaring), is set at up to 21 years' imprisonment, with no eligibility for parole for a time period not exceeding 10 years. If the prisoner is still considered dangerous after serving the original sentence, the detention can be extended by five years at a time. Renewal of the detention every five years can in theory result in actual life imprisonment. Preventive detention is used when the prisoner is deemed a danger to society and there is a great chance of his committing violent crimes in the future. However, after the minimum time period has elapsed, the offender can petition for parole once every year, and this may be granted if it is determined that he is no longer a danger to society.
List of people sentenced to preventive detention in Norway
This is a partial list of people sentenced to Preventive detention in Norway since its introduction in 2001.
|Name||Reason||Sentencing date||Highest Court sentencing||Notes|
|Viggo Kristiansen||Murder and rape||1 June 2001||29 March 2012
||Convicted of what became known as the Baneheia child murders. Kristiansen, along with Jan Helge Andersen, was convicted of raping, strangling, and stabbing to death Lena Sløgedal Paulsen (10) and Stine Sofie Sørstrønen (8) in 2001.|
|Yasin Mohammed Jabr||Murder, attempted murder||4 February 2003||-
||Jabr was convicted of the premeditated murder of his wife and the attempted murder of her aunt and his own daughter on 27 July 2001.|
|Geir Hårstad||Murder||28 March 2003||-
||Hårstad raped and murdered his 11-year-old step-daughter Kristina Molvik on 28 September 2002.|
|Lars Harnes||Armed robbery||10 February 2006||-
||A known mobster associated with the Bandidos group, Harnes, together with Daniel de Linde and Petter Tharaldsen robbed DnBs office at Aker Brygge with automatic weapons on 30 August 2004.|
|Metkel Negassie Betew||Armed robbery||15 March 2006||29 June 2007
||Convicted of the NOKAS robbery. Released in 2014.|
|Kjell Alrich Schumann||Armed robbery and murder||29 June 2007||29 June 2007
||Convicted of the NOKAS robbery.|
|Ole Kristian Bjørnsen||Murder||26 March 2009||29 March 2010
||Convicted of the murder of Ragnar Bjertnes Abrahamsen and Jan Petter Aarstad on the "Farm of Death".|
|Unidentified male (39)||Murder||11 September 2009||9 February 2010
||On the morning of 22 March 2009, the unidentified man brutally stabbed to death a pregnant Linda Anett Hansen (35), her husband Ole-Roger Olsen (44), and Olsen's mother, Ragna Elida Christensen (61).|
|Erik Andersen||Child sexual abuse and rape||14 June 2010||did not appeal
||The infamous "Pocket Man", Andersen sexually abused and raped over 70 young boys over a 50-year period.|
|Helge Ivar Breland Pedersen||Murder||5 October 2010||-
||Convicted of brutally assaulting his former girlfriend, Ann Helen Karlsen. Ann was struck with a hammer, strangled, and her body then dumped in the sea off Tananger on the night of 6 March 2005. Pedersen had previous convictions for violence against his ex-wife as well as the murder of his previous girlfriend's father.|
|Stig Millehaugen||Murder||29 April 2011||28 March 2012
||A notorious mobster and hitman, Stig Millehaugen murdered Mohammed "Jeddi" Javed on 19 January 2009 in what was described as a "liquidation". Javed was a known leader within Oslo's criminal underground.|
|Thor Aage Mathisen||Child sexual abuse and extortion||11 July 2011||14 March 2012
||Known as the "Helicopter doctor", Mathisen sexually abused a number of underage girls, including 7 cases of rape. He was also convicted of extortion. The case became known as the Helicopter doctor case.|
|Unidentified male (40)||Rape||16 October 2011||-||The case handled by the Oslo District Court is described as one of the worst rape cases in the capital's modern history. The Egyptian man was convicted of eight different rapes, many of them carried out with violence. Most of the victims told that the man had taken such a powerful stranglehold on them that they were afraid to die and that they gave up resisting. The man originally came from Egypt and was granted residence in Norway in 2002., He had applied for permanent residence on the basis of being homosexual.|
|Anders Behring Breivik||Murder and terrorism||24 August 2012||did not appeal
||Committed the 2011 Norway attacks.|
|Unidentified male (56)||Child sexual abuse and incest||12 November 2012||-
||Convicted of raping and sexually abusing his step-daughter over a period of five years, beginning when she was 12 years old. Previously convicted of having an incestuous relationship with his own daughter that resulted in two children.|
|Unidentified male (38)||Rape||20 November 2012||14 March 2013
||Defendant drugged and raped five women. Many of the rapes were videotaped, and the case is described as one of the most serious sex abuse cases in Norwegian history.|
|Unidentified male (48)||Rape and death threats against the Prime Minister||12 December 2012||-
||Convicted of raping his ex-wife as well as making death threats against his step-father Martin Kolberg and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.|
|Unidentified male (50)||Rape and attempted rape||19 January 2013||-
||Convicted of raping two women and attempting to rape two others. The man, from Vestfold, had previously been convicted of serious sexual offenses including rape, but was released on parole in 2002.|
|Unidentified male (19)||Rape and attempted rape||19 January 2013||-
||Convicted of violently raping a 19-year-old woman as well as brutally assaulting and attempting to rape another. The Somalian immigrant had previously sexually molested at least 11 women.|
|Unidentified male (45)||Child sexual abuse||21 March 2013||-
||The 45-year-old truck driver was convicted of sexually molesting no less than 20 boys aged 12 to 16 years.|
|Unidentified female (49)||Child sexual abuse, and physical abuse||5 April 2013||20 February 2014
||The 49-year-old woman, known as the "Alvdal-mother", along with her husband, subjected her eldest daughter to severe sexual abuse from the age of five. At the time of her conviction, she was already serving prison time for sexually abusing her two other children, as well as two neighbouring children. A self-declared paedophile with high risk of re-offending, she is the first woman to be sentenced to preventive detention in Norway.|
|Unidentified male (47)||Child sexual abuse, rape, incest and physical abuse||12 July 2013||-
||The 47-year-old father-of-two had previous convictions from 2001 to 2010 when he raped two boys aged 13 and 14. He was this time convicted of raping and otherwise molesting his own children in a 5-year period, starting in 2006.|
|Steven Dan Danielsen||Rape and Murder||3 March 2014||-
||The 24-year-old Danielsen, was convicted of the "Aksla-murder". He randomly attacked Anja Weløy Aarseth (21) while she was out jogging in the hills surrounding Ålesund, before raping and murdering her. He was also convicted of attempted robbery as well as making threats against police officers.|
As of 2011 there were 76 offenders serving a sentence of preventive detention. 
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