The Twelve Tables forbid a thief— that is to say, a plunderer and a robber—to be slain by day, even when you catch him, a self-evident enemy, within your walls. “Unless he defends himself with a weapon,” says the law; not even if he has come with a weapon; unless he uses it, and resists; “you shall not kill him. If he resists, endoplorato,” that is to say, raise an outcry, that people may hear you and come to your aid. What can be added more to this merciful view of the case, when they did not allow that it might be lawful for a man to defend his own life in his own house without witnesses and umpires?
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THE FRAGMENTS WHICH REMAIN OF THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO ON BEHALF OF MARCUS TULLIUS.
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