Law and Order on the Asimov

The following information is drawn from Hollis Salamaris' documentary published in October.

Crime and punishment

The follow crimes are listed in precedence order, most severe first. The Asimov has no distinction between criminal and civil charges, for any damage done to a member of the crew is damage to the mission at large.

Crimes punishable by premature recycling

Crimes in this category are punishable by premature recycling, with no exceptions.

  1. Permanent removal of resources from the ship (i.e. by somehow expelling them out of the ship) without explicit Computer authorisation.
  2. Actual or attempted subversion or sabotage of critical ship systems (i.e. sector level or above life support, fusion reactors, Computer itself, engines or thrusters)
  3. Widescale subversion of the population to support political aims contrary to Asimov mission profile.
  4. Circumvention of population controls.
  5. Disruption of societal order (e.g. by inspiring fear among the populace by being a serial killer)
  6. Disobeying an Emergency Order from Computer (these are rare and it will be explicitly clear to those involved if they have been issued one; the average citizen is probably unaware of their existence)

Major crimes

Crimes in this category may be punished by premature recycling, but may alternatively be addressed by psychological treatment, placement on highly dangerous repair missions, or other suitably severe punishments deemed appropriate by Computer.

  1. Actual or attempted subversion or sabotage of important ship systems likely to require substantial resource expenditure to rectify, or likely to significantly imperil other citizens.
  2. Aiding or abetting circumvention of population controls.
  3. Large scale hoarding
  4. Murder

Minor crimes

Minor hoarding, hacking, theft, GBH, violations of Computer edicts etc.

Minor Crimes are generally punished by docking of fabber privileges, community service, demotion, reassignment of work details and/or other punishments deemed appropriate by Computer.

Judicial procedure

Generally Computer relies on Marshals and Enforcement Officers to identify and prosecute crimes. For major offences it may specifically ask for charges to be brought against an individual. It only seems to take direct action (where possible) to prevent loss of life.

The assigned case officer will gather witness statements (which may be prerecorded with Computer as an official witness), gather forensic evidence and detain the suspect before bringing the case to trial before Computer. Computer will give the suspect the chance to present a defense and any mitigating circumstances, which may include reference to any relevant Computer recordings and will then issue a judgement. The prosecuting officer may recommend a punishment, and this is often taken up by Computer if deemed appropriate. For major crimes and those punishable by premature recycling, a rare paper record of the prosecution is produced.

Punishments are normally carried out shortly after being issued, though in cases where the defendant has pleaded guilty some clemency may be allowed, particularly with respect to putting one's affairs in order prior to recycling.

It is rare for Computer to issue a judgement in absentia. There is only one crime where this is done routinely, and that is circumvention of population controls by failing to turn up for your appointment with Biological Reprocessing. In this case Computer technically issues a default judgement against age criminals when they are 60 seconds late for their appointment. The judgement in this case is always “Death by any appropriate means followed by recycling”.

Interesting facts:

  • It is the responsibility of the prosecuting officer to ensure judgement is carried out in accordance with Computer's wishes.
  • Anybody may actually carry out the punishment, authorised by the prosecuting officer or not.

Know your Rights: Warrants, Entry and Seizure

Enforcement Officers and Marshals may not access just any records. They must demonstrate prima facie evidence of a crime and the relevance of the records to said crime before Computer will unseal the records. Records available include ID chip reports as well as video and other sensor data.

Likewise, you can always appeal to Computer to preserve your privacy if they wish to inspect your private compartment. They burden of proof lies on them to establish a prima facie case justifying their entry and search. However, if you don't outright deny them access they can just walk in.

Enforcers and Marshals can seize for later analysis and/or recycling any items they believe to have been used in commission of a crime. If you object, they again have to demonstrate a prima facie case to Computer.

If you catch any Enforcement Officers or Marshals ignoring these rules, they are guilty of violating the law. You can always report such miscreants to the Head of Internal Affairs, currently Marshal Alyssa Red.

details/law_and_order.txt · Last modified: 2012/11/20 12:55 by gm_jonathan
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