Non-criminal murders: A sociological essay about the use of self-defence in Argentina

Authors

Keywords:

Self-defence, prohibition of murder, individual life, private property, Argentinean criminal system, legítima defensa, prohibición de matar, vida individual, propiedad privada, justicia penal de Buenos Aires

Abstract

This article seeks to examine the use of the figure of self-defence in the practices of the Buenos Aires criminal justice system. As we will show with the analysis of some paradigmatic cases, through the use of this exceptional figure, this criminal justice system produces certain murders as non-criminal acts to, paradoxically, safeguard individual life as a hegemonic value. Moreover, we will observe that the use of this legal figure reveals that killings to protect private property may not have a criminal character either. This in turn suggests that private property is also a hegemonic value for this criminal justice system, and that the allegedly supremacy of individual life over private property in its value scale should be at least questioned.

Este artículo se propone examinar el uso de la figura de la legítima defensa en las prácticas de la justicia penal de Buenos Aires. Como mostraremos con el análisis de algunos casos paradigmáticos, a través del uso de esta figura de excepción, esta justicia penal produce ciertas muertes como actos no-criminales a fin de, paradójicamente, proteger la vida individual como valor hegemónico. Asimismo, veremos que el uso de esta figura jurídica revela que ciertos asesinatos para proteger la propiedad privada pueden no tener tampoco un carácter criminal. Esto a su vez sugiere que la propiedad privada es también un valor hegemónico para esta justicia penal, y que la pretendida supremacía de la vida individual sobre la propiedad privada en su escala de valores debe ser, al menos, cuestionada.

Available from: https://doi.org/10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1224

Author Biography

Martina Lassalle, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Martina Lassalle is a sociologist and an assistant professor in the Sociology department of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires. She is also a PhD student at the University of Buenos Aires. Currently, she is carrying out a sociological investigation about the punishment of murder in Argentina. She participates of the research project “The socio-political uses of violence. Toward a cultural analysis of the criminal question in Argentina”, at Gino Germani Research Institute. Postal address: 950 Uriburu St., 6th floor, C1114 AAD, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Email: lassallemartina@gmail.com

Published

30-09-2021 — Updated on 22-12-2021

Versions

How to Cite

Lassalle, M. (2021) “Non-criminal murders: A sociological essay about the use of self-defence in Argentina”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 11(6(S), pp. S1-S20. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/1267 (Accessed: 24 January 2022).