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In this article the authors offer a reflection, not as an alternative but as a complement to the traditional approaches adopted to address the question of crime. More specifically, they look at the modifications penal legislation has progressively undergone in Italy in recent years, and ask whether the normative system and, more generally, the practices used to manage the crime phenomenon systematically give rise to discriminations. Their response is that they do in the sense that analysis of normative evolution leads to the conclusion that the needs of the majority and the privileges of the holders of power end up by imposing a definition of the borderline between legal and illegal and a repressive management of deviancy that are, de facto, functional to dominant interests.