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15 January, 2016 - 09:31

Burglary is not a crime against property. It is defined as “the breaking and entering of the dwelling of another in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony.” The intent to steal is not an issue: a man who sneaks into a woman’s home intent on raping her has committed a burglary, even if he does not carry out the act. The student doing critical thinking will no doubt notice that the definition provides plenty of room for argument. What is “breaking”? (The courts do not require actual destruction; the mere opening of a closed door, even if unlocked, is enough.) What is entry? When does night begin? What kind of intent? Whose dwelling? Can a landlord burglarize the dwelling of his tenant? (Yes.) Can a person burglarize his own home? (No.)