Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation decided food theft not a crime if hungry

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The court found that the homeless man was acting “in a state of need” so his actions could not be considered offences. “The condition of the defendant and the circumstances in which the seizure of merchandise took place prove that he took possession of that small amount of food in the face of an immediate and essential need for nourishment, acting therefore in a state of necessity,” the judges said in a statement. This was a proof that for the judges, the “right to survival prevails over property”. However, this is a fact: the taking of goods worth under €5 went through three rounds in the courts before being thrown out.

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