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Old May 25 2013, 10:32 AM   #39
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: Wanted for Murder: Cmdr Riker

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Riker was faced with an impossible situation. He had only seconds to act. He couldn't take the chance that Yuta might get away - it was all happening too fast. So even if he set the phaser a bit too high, Riker was still justified in killing Yuta, since he acted in defense of Chorgan. So therefore it's not murder.
I have to disagree. Riker saw that the second shot he fired sent Yuta reeling. He could have given her a two or three second hit with another one of those, giving him enough time to tackle her to the ground and get a bunch of others to help hold her down. From there, it would be a simple matter to beam her back to a confinement cell to turn her over to the Acamarian authorities.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ In what way?

Look, we all know what murder is. If Riker had killed Yuta for no reason, or for something trivial, then that would have been murder. But acting in defense of another person (or yourself) is, by definition, not murder. If I kill somebody who's robbing my house or is actively trying to kill me (or somebody else), then that is never murder.

(If they're running away and I shoot them in the back, then THAT is murder, but that's not what Riker was doing.)
But this is different.

Let's say that you were in a situation where there is someone who wants to kill you and they are only armed with a weapon that can kill you with a touch but won't kill anyone else. There are also many other people nearby. The potential murder is near you, but still several meters away and get touch you from their current position. I turn up and I have a gun.

Which is the best course of action? Do I shoot the person to kill them, or do I shoot them to incapacitate them? (And let's not get into arguments about how shooting to kill with a gun is easier than making a shot to break someone's leg, because Riker didn't need to hit her leg to incapacitate her.)

At their current position, they cannot touch you. I've already demonstrated to them that I can incapacitate them. What need is there for me to kill them? None.
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