Norway: 'honor' murderers should get reduced sentence

Tor Erling Staff talks about Norway 'betraying' the immigrants, but as Prof. Unni Wikan wrote in her book (see Book Review: Breeding Betrayal (2) ), in this case he's betraying the women and children who had come to Norway hoping for a better, western life. Why should they be forced by Norwegians to live a foreign culture that they don't choose for?


In the public debate the most strict punishments are called for so-called honor murder. Tor Erling Staff (lawyer at the supreme court) is, on the contrary, quite clear that honor must be an extenuating circumstance when giving out sentences.

Staff thinks that Norwegian society has betrayed men from other cultures who had come to Norway.

In a book published this week, Staff says that those who commit honor murder in Norway should get a reduction in sentence. If two people are sentenced for murder that according to the law should be punished in the same manner, Tor Erling Staff thinks that the person who can show that he killed his wife on ground of honor, should get a lighter sentence.

Staff says that if a murderer should get 17 years in prison, a man who murdered his wife on the grounds of his family's honor should get two years reduction.

Staff says that many who have come to Norway have other traditions, attitudes, ethics and experiences of their duties and rights. Norwegian courts have decided not to take that into consideration.

In the 80's Staff had a murder case in Drammen where the Eidsivating court took into account when deciding on a sentence that the murderer was from another cultural tradition. Staff says that was the last time he had seen a Norwegian court take that into account when deciding on sentencing.

Q: Do you really think that a man of foreign origin who kills his wife should be sentenced to a shorter sentence than an ethnic Norwegian who kills his wife?

A :It is important to understand why a murder took place. We can't neglect to pay attention as to why. It can be fairly revealing that the crime happened because the way of thinking and duties are different for people of other cultures. Therefore tradition and cultural background should be taken into account.

In the book "of law, life and death" - co-written by author Håvard Rem - Staff gets the following question: Do you mean that in the most extreme consequence a wife's murder will be considered an expression of lack of integration and existence of integrity?

Staff answered that he does. He says the crisis centers are like a fortress which gives protection and security, but they are themselves part of the reason for this necessity. Outside the fortress there are always people who feel betrayed.

They are betrayed by Norwegian Society, says Staff to Dagbladet. They come from places where equality is an unknown concept. Where the thought of eqality is a humilitaion. Suddenly they land here, in the middle of equality paradise. It is clear there is stress, and this stress gets to a breaking point. Society wants them to integrate. That they get around to the Norwegian way of thinking and turn away from their own way of thinking, he says in his book.

Staff thinks that there is a clear tendency for Norwegian courts try to ignore the concept of honor murder. He says he feels criminal care attempts to define away the concept of honor murder and that it's important for the courts to take a position on it.

Q: Does this mean that you think Norwegian courts don't take honor murder into account?

A: When they don't take into account the murder's tradition, cultural, ethics, experience of duties and rights, it's wrong. The court must know why. It seems to me that society and the courts are completely uninterested in finding out the cause for the crime.

The lawyer thinks Norwegian society is characterized by self-righteousness and that we don't understand other cultures and ways of thinking.

Staff: Everything we Norwegians stand for is so damned god. We aren't interested in other cultures' ways of thought. Norwegians are morally condemning, and we are characterized by that the whole society rejects actions and doesn't try to understand why honor murder happens. I really think we are awfully self-righteous.

Q: Isn't honor murder a premediated act that should be punished more stricly than other murders that aren't planned?

A: I don't percieve honor murder as a premeditated crime.

Q: Aren't you afraid that there will be more murders if the courts give a sentence reduction for honor murder?

A: No! This revolves around justice. Therefore we must know why a murder took place and if the reason is honor, it must have meaning for giving out punishment

In his new book Staff also attacks Norwegian crisis centers, saying they accept only one party in a two-sided situation. They enable a woman to escape regardless and thereby always provide a temptation. He says that a main reason for the criminality in today's Norway is that the father is kept away from the children.

Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian)


Anonymous said...

A Honor killing should be sentenced minimum to 125,000 years in prison. A democratic country could reduce it by a day or so.

Unknown said...

It pissed me off no end, but rest assured that Staff is a sort of moral outcast in Norway. I kind of like him for that reason, as he often has some interesting perspectives, but what he says here goes along the lines of when he defends paedophiles. He's not at all dangerous.

Anonymous said...

You must be joking... a fellow decides he's been insulted, so he goes out and murders a relative, here in the USA, we call it pre-meditated murder, no matter how you gift wrap it ! Candycoat the consequences and all you do is encourage the barbarians to continue acting like barbarians.. it's your call .... as far as I'm concerned, this is why you need the death penalty......

Anonymous said...

The laws of Norway should be honoured first and foremost. If muslims go to Norway they should recognise they should obey the laws of Norway, if they want sharia and honour killings they should go to an islamic country, instead of forcing their religious views on others.Laws should incoporate all religions and no division should be catered for. Islam lacks human rights for women, and it dishonourable to women to be killed because some man has been dishonoured. Look at saudi arabia where a woman raped by 14 men, is lashed and sent to jail. what sort of stupid religion is this???? and why are women treated so badly??

Unknown said...

Infidel: "as far as I'm concerned, this is why you need the death penalty...."

No, that's introducing sharia through the backdoor. I'm all for longer sentences though.

Anonymous said...




Thiagan said...


Islamic component in any plural society is dangerous; we have been experiencing it for the last 600 years. The theology behind Islam is barbaric and can never be reformed, as its mind has been closed and sealed by an old scoundral 1200 years back. It is time Christian West, Hindu India and Buddhist China come together and challenge this madness called Islam. EU countries should abolish further immigration of muslims and encourage Hindus and Buddhists to come in for workforce.

Anonymous said...

Honor murders are a disgusting way for psychopaths to 'legalize' sadistic and murderous tendencies in the name of religion. To see it as a Islamic problem is probably wrong as these things for different religious, idealistic or any other so called 'higher' reasons happen throughout all ages and in every society.

When you consider that our very own Christian culture killed 1 million woman as witches for having a brain, personality or being human of which the last one was burned only a century ago, consider all the deaths a small minority of the Northern Irish catholics and protestants have to their name, go back to the crusades, the inquisition and the list could get longer and longer, you could almost say that Christianity created a good feeding ground for Islam.

Basically it comes down to this murder is illegal, disgusting and primitive no matter what the reason and should be punished heavily in any modern society.