Yes...................... Shoot pirates on sight? - CNN.com Piracy has for centuries been considered a serious offense by most, if not all, states, and pirates were regularly killed or executed after, at most, a perfunctory hearing by the captain of the ship that captured them. Today, pirates are rarely confronted aggressively, and even when they have been caught, many have simply been released. As maritime law expert John Burnett refers to it, pirates are treated with a "catch-and-release philosophy that's usually reserved for trout."