famine theft
n. A theft of food or medicine motivated by extreme poverty.
famine-theft adj.

Example Citations:
Venezuela's Supreme Court is considering allowing "famine thefts". Anyone suffering prolonged poverty will be able to steal food, medicine or inexpensive goods, without punishment.
—David Randall, "Storyville: A poor excuse for crime," Independent on Sunday (London, England), January 25, 2004

Venezuela is considering decriminalizing the theft of food and medicine in cases where a thief is motivated by extreme hunger or need.

A Supreme Court justice has proposed the "famine theft clause," which would have to pass through the court and the National Assembly to become law.
—"Briefly," Newsday, January 18, 2004

Earliest Citation:
Venezuela, where more than two-thirds of 25 million people are poor despite the nation's huge oil wealth, is considering decriminalizing the theft of food and medicine in cases where a thief is motivated by extreme hunger or need. Supreme Court Judge Alejandro Angulo Fontiveros on Wednesday proposed a so-called "famine-theft" clause as part of a broad penal-code reform measure. Those who take food, medicine or inexpensive goods without using violence to ease hunger caused by prolonged, extreme poverty would not be punished.
—"Et cetera," The Seattle Times, January 16, 2004

Related Words:

Categories: