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Old May 29 2013, 08:44 PM   #29
Re: death penalty in star trek

Obviously not an equal amount, as Starfleet can "clean Klingon chronometers" or whatever, whereas the Talosians are invincible.

But you miss the point. It's not punishment - it's a cure. Nobody would benefit from having an agent provocateur executed after he has done his deed with Romulans or Klingons; nothing would be won by that. (The TOS criminal cure system could of course cure the agent of the desire to instigate war, and probably would. But punishing him would not be part of that cure.)

Or you could have just confined anyone who you suspect currupted in a penel colony or a Federation loony bin were they are confined and cant hurt anyone?
No. You would have to execute, from a safe distance, anybody who attempted to do such a thing to a suspect - because they, too, would be potential carriers of Talosian evil now.

The key here being "safe distance". Prior to the episode, Starfleet thinks that Talos can be quarantined by preventing starships from approaching too close to it, and by destroying any ships that do go there and attempt to depart. They need a mandate to kill without a trial anybody who attempts to depart, and in GO7 they have it; a trial would defeat the quarantine, as it would mean contact, and contact would mean Talosian victory.

After the episode, Starfleet knows that there is no safe distance. Spock was goaded into doing crazy things from a great distance. And even if Spock went mad all on his own, the illusion of Mendez was created across a great distance, and the compromising messages were sent to the Enterprise across an equally great distance. Nobody is safe; nobody ever was. So GO7, once considered supremely logical, never did any good, either.

Why did the Talosians not reach that far out previously? (Aside from the real-world reason that the writers of "The Menagerie" did not think things through, and never seemed to realize what "The Cage" had been all about.) Well, presumably, after Pike provided Talosians with data on the Federation, they could concentrate their efforts and mentally compromise Kirk into seeing the Mendez illusion and so forth... Or something.

Timo Saloniemi
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