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Italy plans law to allow property owners to shoot intruders

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Mil Novecientos Once, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. Mil Novecientos Once

    Mil Novecientos Once Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    Puerto Rico
    Do you think that this kind of legislation could be done in the USA?


    Italy plans law to allow property owners to shoot intruders

    John Hooper in Rome
    Monday April 19, 2004
    The Guardian

    Silvio Berlusconi's rightwing government in Italy is to change the law to allow people to kill intruders without fear of imprisonment.
    The justice minister, Roberto Castelli, appeared to suggest at the weekend that in addition the benefit of the doubt should be given to shopkeepers who shot robbers in the back as they left their premises.

    Mr Castelli, a member of the Northern League, was speaking after an incident in Milan last week which had echoes of the case of Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer jailed for killing a burglar. A jeweller and his son face charges of murder after shooting and killing a 21 year-old robber.

    The risks facing shopkeepers were highlighted at the weekend when a Roman tobacconist was shot dead during an attempted robbery.

    A committee headed by a leading prosecutor is currently drawing up proposals for a wide-ranging reform of the penal code. Addressing an electoral meeting on Saturday, Mr Castelli said: "In the new penal code, we shall be changing the concept of legitimate defence, which today is too far unbalanced in favour of the criminal, to the detriment of honest people."

    One of the changes would include "the principle that anyone who is at home should be considered a priori under attack [from a burglar] and may legitimately regard himself to be in danger of his life." In these instances, "any action must be considered legitimate defence".

    Mr Castelli also intended to change the law so that it took account of the "state of mind of the victim" of a robbery. He gave as an example a shopkeeper who had just been robbed and did not have the clarity of mind to work out if the thief was leaving his shop or had other intentions.

    "The legitimate use of firearms will be better disciplined without turning the country into the Wild West and without turning members of the public into sheriffs," Mr Castelli said.

    The reform would "nevertheless allow people to defend themselves in cases of unjust aggression, if necessary with gunfire".

    Mr Castelli said his views were shared by the chairman of the legal reform committee. Parliament is already discussing a private member's bill tabled by a senator from Mr Berlusconi's Forza Italia party which would give a broader dispensation to victims of burglaries, though not quite as broad as that suggested by Mr Castelli.

    His bill would allow householders to "use any means to defend themselves or their families". However, if the risk were merely to property, the victims of the robbery would only be within their rights "to brandish weapons without an intention to kill".

    At present, the law on self-defence in Italy is similar to that in Britain. The penal code says that a killing is not an offence if the killer has been "obliged by necessity" to put an end to the life of another person.

    However, the use of force must be proportionate to the threat. The victim may only do what is indispensable for their protection.
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Some day, maybe New York will catch up with Italy.
  3. atek3

    atek3 Senior Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    SW CT
    hey maybe after self defence is legalized, they'll go shall issue. Okay maybe not, but its a thought.


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