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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old January 22 2013, 02:46 AM   #16
Harvey
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

Lance wrote: View Post
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The discrepancy is probably due to heavy rewrites to the original script, which didn't involve Wesley as the focal point. And they missed it.
I've actually got a book which contains full synopses of every early draft script from TNG's first season. John Black's original version of "Justice" seems like it could have been one of the most intriguing, even if it does riff very much on the TOS episode "Return of the Archons".
What book is that?
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Old January 22 2013, 04:23 AM   #17
Captain McBain
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

The Edo god itself is an interesting being. That's the only part of the episode I like. Is the Edo god a spaceship, containing various beings, or is the Edo god one trans-dimensional being?
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Old January 22 2013, 09:07 AM   #18
Timo
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

the existence of a death penalty NOW is often a major issue when dealing with other countries and things like extradition. Are you seriously suggesting that it will become LESS of an issue in the far future? Asking about a death penalty would be one of the first things Yar asked about, at which point she would have discovered that it was the ONLY penalty for crimes there. That's hardly a meaningless technicality of the law.
The starting point would appear to be that if one of the heroes misbehaves in a way that calls for death by local rules, he dies - that's why there's a dilemma here, because Picard feels local laws must be obeyed rather than be weaseled out of. So the nature of punishment would be rather secondary, as the visitors would not need to know anything beyond what they can do and what they cannot. If they do something they are not allowed to do, despite having been provided an info sheet by Yar, they are on their own and Starfleet farts in their general direction. (In this episode at least, and until our heroes decide the local laws are so silly and foreign that they can be dismissed.)

How does one research local customs and laws? In the usual case of a world Starfleet is allowed to visit, there would no doubt be a handshake package of some sort, provided by the locals. And that would read how the Edo want it to read. In which case, see below:

At any rate, even if she didn't study punishments, which is just a silly notion, they still didn't seem to know about penalty zones.
But the whole point of the system is that the offender is not informed about the zones!

It's an excellent way to deal with rampant crime on a global scale with minimal resources. The government might only be able to afford twenty policemen per continent - but even with fairly conventional means of transport, they could be at surprising and unexpected locations in sufficient numbers to subdue any wrongdoer, especially when they are cleared to use lethal force immediately and without any sort of hesitation (say, investigating the nature of the crime, establishing the degree of guilt, or other time-consuming, officer-endangering irrelevancies). Sure, 99.9999999% of the time, they would not be there. But that's why the deterrent needs to be based on horrible immediate death rather than something the wrongdoer might consider a price worth paying.

After a few years of setting examples, the system can be toned down and, say, the "horrible" aspect dropped from the executions...

If the Edo wanted their guests to behave, they would naturally keep the existence of the zones secret from them; indeed, their law would be likely to require them to do so.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old January 22 2013, 12:07 PM   #19
Lance
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

Harvey wrote: View Post
Lance wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
The discrepancy is probably due to heavy rewrites to the original script, which didn't involve Wesley as the focal point. And they missed it.
I've actually got a book which contains full synopses of every early draft script from TNG's first season. John Black's original version of "Justice" seems like it could have been one of the most intriguing, even if it does riff very much on the TOS episode "Return of the Archons".
What book is that?
"Creating The Next Generation" by noted fans Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman (writers of the famous 'Cinefantastique' magazine).

http://www.amazon.ca/Creating-Next-G.../dp/0752208438

It's an excellent read IMO.
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Old January 22 2013, 01:15 PM   #20
Takeru
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
How I took it is that there's only on place on the entire planet every day where these "mediators" are. And it's only in this one place where breaking a law causes the death penalty. People do not commit crimes simply because you never know where these mediators are that day. Wesley was in the exact wrong spot at the exact wrong time.
How does that work, how can you not know where the punishment zones are? The mediators were within jogging distance and they wear uniforms, how can you not spot them immediately and figure out that you're in a punishment zone? The Edo don't seem to have access to advanced especially advanced technology so I doubt a flower cam filmed Wesley's butt crushing it and alerted the mediator's office. It seems like the mediators just walk around and look for crimes ... in uniforms ... in plain sight.

This is so stupid it almost makes me angry, are the Edo just walking around thinking "Lalala, I'm going to have a massage, then sex ... whoa, why are these people wearing mediator uniforms running through the park, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT MEANS ... ok, after sex I'll have a drink, and then I listen to some music ... Lalala, what a beautiful day, I hope I don't stumble into a punishment zone, they should really tell us where they are, maybe I'll ask one of the mediators, I'm sure they must know where they are working today. I'm so smart!"
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Old January 22 2013, 01:22 PM   #21
Use of Time
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

To be fair, Picard did question Tashat about reviewing laws and customs and she said "they listed nothing of punishment." That implies she was through with her research but maybe needed to ask the question in person once she arrived at Edo.
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Old January 22 2013, 02:12 PM   #22
Zaku
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

So, can you kill anyone outside a punishment zone?
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Old January 22 2013, 02:24 PM   #23
Takeru
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

Zaku wrote: View Post
So, can you kill anyone outside a punishment zone?
Probably, which means the crime rate should go up with punishment zones around. We know from the real world that the death penalty or other harsh penalties are not a deterrent because no one planning a crime expects to be caught and people who do it in the heat of the moment don't think about the consequences. The latter group would still not think about the consequences so it doesn't change anything and the others would soon realize that being in a punishment zone and being caught is less likely than being caught in a system that punishes you no matter where the crime was commited.
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Old January 22 2013, 02:25 PM   #24
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

My only problem with the episode is that Brenda Bakke wasn't completely naked.

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Old January 22 2013, 02:39 PM   #25
USS KG5
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

Takeru wrote: View Post
being caught is less likely than being caught in a system that punishes you no matter where the crime was commited.
Exactly, it doesn't make any sense. It would not stop crimes of passion, or crimes by someone who actually considers themselves immune from the law. An average Earth mobster would have shot all the mediators and be running Edo in a week.

The whole episode simply shows a world with a light variation on the old utilitarian idea "the death penalty fro double-parking" which even utilitarians know to be impractical, and then after 45 minutes points out... "its impractical and unfair".

Though everyone knows this episode sucks ("we can run can't we!!" yuk ) so I think I'm digging too far.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:17 PM   #26
Timo
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

The mediators were within jogging distance and they wear uniforms, how can you not spot them immediately and figure out that you're in a punishment zone? The Edo don't seem to have access to advanced especially advanced technology
Hmh? Advanced technology would appear very likely since our heroes considered themselves justified in contacting this planet in the first place. Also, the local God is clearly manifest in the lives of the natives - it is only "said to be up there" but known to "make itself felt most fully". When Liator says the latter, he's rather blatantly speaking of the God's ability and willingness to deal with situations like the one at hand... So, God is quite likely to provide the Police Department with the monitoring and transportation services it needs.

being in a punishment zone and being caught is less likely than being caught in a system that punishes you no matter where the crime was committed.
Only if an offender can plead "being outside the zone". Which he of course can't do: if he gets caught, he was inside a zone, or at least can't prove otherwise. The odds of getting punished are not reduced by the zone system in practice.

Why the zones exist even in theory (as opposed to the entire planet constantly being one giant zone) is probably to provide a modicum of plausibility: the criminals know there are very few enforcers, and this system caters for the fact.

Also, note that the system is not intended to combat specific crime. It is intended to terrorize the populace. Those who believe in it become exceptionally docile and cautious; those who don't become bold and visible and are quickly culled out of the gene pool by judicious executions. That is why the nature of the crime is of no relevance, and why the punishment for all offenses is death rather than, say, months-long torture.

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Old January 22 2013, 05:22 PM   #27
Zaku
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

In the episode, they explicitly said that the ONLY punishment is death and ONLY in the punishment zone? So if I do something against the law near a punishment zone (but not in!) and a mediator sees me, he can't do anything?
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Old January 22 2013, 08:38 PM   #28
USS KG5
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

Zaku wrote: View Post
In the episode, they explicitly said that the ONLY punishment is death and ONLY in the punishment zone? So if I do something against the law near a punishment zone (but not in!) and a mediator sees me, he can't do anything?
That would be the situation, yes. I'd assume that the punishment zones are large enough to make this unlikely.
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Old January 23 2013, 08:30 AM   #29
Zaku
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

USS KG5 wrote: View Post
That would be the situation, yes. I'd assume that the punishment zones are large enough to make this unlikely.
Thanks. You know, after all these years, these episode can still surprise me for its idiocy. The writers came up with a very stupid legal system so our heroes can proudly say: "You have a very stupid legal system. But we are so better than you that we respect and obey it....
...
Ahhh... f*** it.

Let's run away!"
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Old January 23 2013, 06:08 PM   #30
sonak
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Re: Problem with the episode "Justice"

Zaku wrote: View Post
USS KG5 wrote: View Post
That would be the situation, yes. I'd assume that the punishment zones are large enough to make this unlikely.
Thanks. You know, after all these years, these episode can still surprise me for its idiocy. The writers came up with a very stupid legal system so our heroes can proudly say: "You have a very stupid legal system. But we are so better than you that we respect and obey it....
...
Ahhh... f*** it.

Let's run away!"

pretty much-it's the kind of legal system that would only be used in fiction to illustrate a point, it makes no sense from any other perspective.
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