Touch the Soil News #378
In Italy, when homeless man Roman Ostraikov stole $4.50 worth of cheese and sausages because he was starving, fellow shoppers turned him in. He was fined over $100 and sentenced to 6 months in Jail. The issue went on to Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation which ruled that:
“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 court ruled that Roman did not commit a crime when attempting to save his life and the previous fine and jail sentence were overturned.
The story has been picked up by mainstream media and is heralded as an historic decision in which our sense of humanity supersedes the letter of the law. Estimates are that around 600 people join the ranks of the poor every day in Italy.
The Ruling of the Italian Court of Cassation draws attention to the failure of modern economic systems to be human-friendly. The implications of this decision relative to hundreds of millions of people in need of food and basics may force contemporary economic thought to include all of humanity.
The sign says 55 years old with no home, work or pension – please help to survive. This Italian man is a member of a growing number of Italians falling into poverty.
Following is a video clip on the effects of Italy’s economic weakness: