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Capital punishment in Norway (Norwegian: dødsstraff) was abolished in peacetime with the criminal law of passed in 1902 and enforced from 1905, and abolished in times of war in 1979.

During the witch-hunting of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 300 people were burned in Norway. About 100 of those were from the Vardø area. Women in the north were at particular risk due to the clergy and authorities believing that the devil resided at the edge of the World.[1]

The Norwegian Code of Christian V from 1687 described several capital crimes, and in some cases coupled torture with the executions. In 1815 the cruelest forms of executions were abolished, and decapitation or shooting were the remaining authorized methods. Capital crimes were for premeditated or otherwise heinous murders as well as treason.[2]

The last execution in peacetime was carried out on 25 February 1876, when Kristoffer Nilsen Svartbækken Grindalen was beheaded in Løten.[3]

During the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany, capital punishment was introduced by Vidkun Quisling's regime in September 1942, and the first of in total nineteen executions was carried out on 16 August 1943, when Gunnar Eilifsen was executed for disobedience. Before this, the law of Germany had applied, and four hundred Norwegians had already been executed. In 1941, the Cabinet Nygaardsvold exiled in London allowed for the death penalty after the war, and expanded its scope in 1942 to cover torture and murder. The legal purge in Norway after World War II resulted in several death sentences, of which 37 (25 Norwegians and 12 Germans) were executed, the last one taking place in 1948.[4]

In 1988 Norway signed on to protocol 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights which bans the use of capital punishment in peacetime.[2] Norway generally opposes capital punishment outside of the country as well. The government has banished Mullah Krekar from Norway, but have not sent him to Iraq due to the possibility of him being charged with capital crimes in his home county.[5] In the Martine Vik Magnussen case, Norway has declined to cooperate with the Yemenese government unless a guarantee is made that the death penalty is off the table.[6]


  1. ^ Rapp, Ole Magnus (17 August 2007). "Heksejakt foregår fremdeles" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 27 February 2009.  
  2. ^ a b "Dødsstraff" (in Norwegian). Caplex. Retrieved 27 February 2009.  
  3. ^ Øversveen, Jørn (28 January 2009). "Den siste halshuggingen". Digitalt Fortalt. Retrieved 27 February 2009.  
  4. ^ Nøkleby, Berit (1995). "dødsstraff". in Dahl, Hans Fredrik (in Norwegian). Norsk krigsleksikon 1940-45. Oslo: Cappelen. Retrieved 27 February 2009.  
  5. ^ "Krekar-saken: Irak vil ikke oppgi dødsstraffen nå" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2009.  
  6. ^ Gunnersen, Anja Tho (12 February 2009). "Støre: - Dødsstraff er ikke aktuelt" (in Norwegian). TV 2. Retrieved 27 February 2009.  


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