Maxwell Everett wrote:
I may be defining it too narrowly, but I think the term genocide doesn't quite cover the eradication of an entire taxon or species. As I understand it, it only covers groups within a species (ethnic, religious, etc.). What Kevin did is more like an artificially imposed, immediate, galaxy-wide extinction event. Looked at this way, Picard would be technically correct that they had no law to fit the crime because as far as he knew nothing like it had ever occurred before.
It needn't be 'genocide', if that's the case. It's still murder, isn't it? Surely they have laws against murder.
It always felt to me that that speech was sort of tacked on, because the truth of the matter is the Federation doesn't have the ability
to confine the guy. As far as I can see, it would be like trying to put Q in a jail cell.
All good points. Possibly he meant that Federation laws only allow prosecution of murder when physical evidence of murder is present? Because Kevin removed the entire species by thought, and the only evidence was his word, they'd never be able to prosecute him in court.