Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stealing Food is Not a Crime If You are Poor and Hungry





This is an extraordinary thought provoking outcome and I suspect it is totally right in terms of common law as applies to any human community.  

The correct solution to all poverty world wide is to simply support a minimum wage on a proper sustaining basis.  Do that that this can never happen.

Yet this judge has finally asked the right question.  If law serves the community does it prohibit a person taking from the community his needs for sustenance. Otherwise the law is only serving the narrow interests of single individuals.  If that is the case, withholding sustenance because of poverty is actually attempted murder.  Offing responsibility back to the community merely confirms the judge's decision

Wow!


Italian Court Rules Stealing Food is Not a Crime If You are Poor and Hungry

 Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The case is 'a new principle, and it might lead to a more frequent application of the state of necessity linked to poverty situations'

 http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/03/italian-court-rules-stealing-food-not-crime-if-you-are-poor-and-hungry

The man was convicted of stealing less than $5 of food. (Photo: scribbletaylor/flickr/cc)




Stealing food if you are hungry and poor is not a crime, Italy's highest appeals court ruled on Monday.

Judges with the Supreme Court of Cassation overturned a theft conviction against a Ukrainian man who stole $4.50 (€4.07) of sausage and cheese from a supermarket in Genoa in 2011, finding that he had taken the food "in the face of immediate and essential need for nourishment."

In 2015, the man, Roman Ostriakov, was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay a $115 (€100) fine.

"The condition of the defendant and the circumstances in which the merchandise theft took place prove that he took possession of that small amount of food in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment, acting therefore in a state of need," the court ruled on Monday. For that reason, the theft "does not constitute a crime."

The prosecutor in the case, Valeria Fazio, told the New York Times on Tuesday that her office had appealed in hopes of getting Ostriakov a lighter sentence given his desperate circumstances—but had no expectation that the court would decide he "doesn't have to be punished at all."

Maurizio Bellacosa, a criminal law professor at Luiss University in Rome, added that the case is "a new principle, and it might lead to a more frequent application of the state of necessity linked to poverty situations."

However, as an op-ed in the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera pointed out, it took three rounds of court rulings before a case concerning $4 of goods, "in a country burdened with [$69 billion] a year of corruption," was overturned. It is "unthinkable" that the law made no note that hundreds of people become homeless in Italy every day, the editorial by Goffredo Buccini said.

A former member of the Supreme Court of Cassation told the Times that the final verdict seemed to rely on an Italian doctrine based on the Latin phrase, "Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur," which translates to, "No one is expected to do the impossible."

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