Italians Could Face Murder Charges for Going Out on the Town

Italy, which normally receives over 63 million tourists a year, is a virtual ghost town.

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The number of people infected by coronavirus in Italy has risen by around 20% in one day to 21,157 with a death toll of around country’s death toll to 1,441.

Italy has been put on a nationwide lockdown with all stores except for pharmacies and grocery stores being ordered to shutter. Only one person from each household can go shopping at any one time. When shopping for food only so many people are allowed to shop at one time, and they must remain about 3 feet apart. Police write tickets for people who are out wandering. Citizens are not allowed to travel unless for pressing health or work reasons.

Keeping up their spirits, however, a video showing Italians singing together on their balconies has gone viral.

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Authorities warn that those who come down with a cough, fever or other signs of the deadly Sars-like disease who avoid going into quarantine could risk being charged with attempted murder.

Those who break the rules and move without a good reason face three months in custody or a fine of up to 206 euros (£181).

If a coronavirus sufferer went on to pass the bug to an elderly person or vulnerable person who then dies from the disease, they could be charged with ‘intentional murder’ and could spend up to 21 years in prison, reports Il Sole 24 Ore. Note that this is being referred to as a criminal charge, unlike a wrongful death claim which would fall under civil law, at least in the U.S.

If someone willfully ignoring authorities makes someone fall ill, but not die, for 40 days or more, that person could face three to seven years in prison.

Italy’s law is reminiscent of some of criminal transmission of HIV and STD laws.

More than thirty of the fifty states in the U.S. have prosecuted HIV-positive individuals for exposing another person to HIV.

California has since decriminalized both knowingly exposing others to HIV and even knowingly donating HIV-infected blood from felonies to misdemeanors. Of the 379 HIV-related convictions in California between 1988 and 2014, only seven — less than 2 percent — included the intent to transmit HIV.

What do you think? Is the new Italian law just a scare tactic? Should anyone be prosecuted for spreading a communicable disease without having any intent to do so?

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