Italy’s top court of appeals ruled that a homeless man, sentenced to 6 months in jail and a €100 fine for stealing €5 worth of food, should be exonerated.
The court wrote that “the right to survival prevails over property” and that the man was acting “in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment.”
This is a breath of fresh air for progressive humanists that see a world of abundance, locked down by greed. Deriving morality from an interpretation of the law is a noble deed and perhaps we are out of our fear-state. Similar to the beginnings of a pot of water boiling, you see a few bubbles rise to the surface indicating that critical mass is near. Are decisions like this indicative of a larger social change?
Italy has recently passed a law requiring all grocery stores to donate left-over food to charity and other European countries (including France and England) have begun to move in that direction as well.
We are at a time when human rights is a global debate. What do we ensure we have access to? Food, water, shelter, clothing and transportation – basic safeties like fire departments and police, education, roads and medical care, these things seem sensical.
With court decisions like this, Italian justices have made it clear that starving someone for profit is not an option.
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*Article originally appeared at Minds.