In Italy, It is Sometimes O.K. to Steal Food


Italy’s highest court, the Supreme Court of Cassation, recently ruled in favor of a homeless man who was appealing his conviction for stealing cheese and sausage valued at 4.07 euros (approximately $4.70), reported The Associated Press. The man had been sentenced to six months in jail and a fine of 100 euros and was asking for a lighter sentence.

The court ruling stated that because the man “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 theft was not a crime, thereby overturning the conviction completely.

The full rationale for the decision has not been released, but a former member of the court suggested the decision is based on the Italian legal doctrine of “Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur,” which is Latin for “No one is expected to do the impossible.”

Issues |Housing|Hunger|Living Unsheltered

Region |Washington DC

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