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Hungry thief's punishment bites
FARMINGTON, Mo. -- It's a hefty price for a pastry.
A man accused of stealing a 52 cents doughnut could face up to 30 years in jail.
Authorities said Scott Masters, 41, slipped the doughnut into his sweatshirt without paying, then allegedly pushed away a female clerk who tried to stop him as he fled.
The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanour shoplifting charge to a strong-armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15. But because Masters has a criminal history, prosecutors say they could seek 30 years.
Masters said he didn't even get a bite: He threw the doughnut away as he fled.
So what does Islam have to say about theft of this nature? From the justice of Islam and the laws derived from the Qur'an and the Sunnah (the Authentic statements and traditions of the final Messenger Muhammad - may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) is that a person who steals (in general) is to be punished by having his left hand cut off! Something which is a strong punishment however, a clear and successful deterent from stealing. However, conditons apply including witnesses not speculation and in the case of stealing food or items neccessary for survival, it must be clearly established that he/she had the ability to get food and was not stealing due to being starved or destitude, in a case were the individual is destitute and starving, there is not punishment for him stealing food to survive. In this is an example of the balance of Islam and that 1000, 2000 or 10,000 years from now, a legal/social and economic system that is entirely man-made will be subject to severe flaws an injustices, and that mankind will always be dependant upon its creator and the messengers he sent to mankind for upright guidance and a correct pure manner and moral code of living.