Court rejects mob boss's crime of passion

ROME, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The highest court in Italy has rejected a mob boss's claim that killing his girlfriend's new love was a crime of passion, imposing a life sentence.

The Court of Cassation, in its decision Friday, said such killings should have stiffer penalties, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Many mob bosses ''kill merely to punish someone they think belongs to them, not accepting a woman's right to live her own life,'' the court said.

Crimes of honor, killings to punish women who were unfaithful or engaged in unacceptable sexual behavior, were recognized in Italian law until 1981. Men who killed their wives, sisters or daughters in honor killings could receive no more than seven-year sentences.

The court ruled in the case of a leader in the Camorra, the powerful Neapolitan mob. He was convicted of the 2000 killing of a factory worker to whom his girlfriend had become attached.

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