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Old May 27 2013, 08:01 PM   #16
Timo
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Re: death penalty in star trek

A General Order is an odd place to have such a specific death penalty in. If they use up the low number GO7 for the extremely specific case of Talos IV, how petty does GO16 get? "A Starfleet Officer shall not address Mr. Scott as 'Scotty' unless close familiarity spans 12 months or longer"?

It sounds more as if every GO carries the potential of death penalty in the "consequences for failure to observe" section, and GO7 is a general (!) order about planetary quarantine, with the specific case of Talos IV being the only one where the death penalty clause is active at the time of "The Menagerie". GO4 then probably concerns something equally general, such as rules of engagement, and some unseen adventure by some unseen captain and ship has resulted in that order's special death penalty clause having been activated for some specific offense after the GO7 thing got completely outdated by the events. Probably happens every six months or so in Starfleet anyway.

Of interest here is that our heroic officers have broad powers of use of lethal force, in all the eras and spinoff shows. They also appear to be the de facto law enforcers of the Federation, facing no competition from any civilian organization. Basically, then, death penalty can befall any perpetrator if the officer on the field deems this appropriate. This in no way contradicts Picard's statement that death penalty has ceased to be viewed as being a effective deterrent - it's merely a convenient way to stop the perpetration and especially perpetuation of a crime for good.

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Old May 27 2013, 11:06 PM   #17
Robert Comsol
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Re: death penalty in star trek

Timo wrote: View Post
Of interest here is that our heroic officers have broad powers of use of lethal force, in all the eras and spinoff shows. They also appear to be the de facto law enforcers of the Federation, facing no competition from any civilian organization. Basically, then, death penalty can befall any perpetrator if the officer on the field deems this appropriate. This in no way contradicts Picard's statement that death penalty has ceased to be viewed as being a effective deterrent - it's merely a convenient way to stop the perpetration and especially perpetuation of a crime for good.
That's a good one. I had similar thoughts today.

But "Turnabout Intruder" is specific that for TOS General Order 4 carries a death sentence.

I imagine it has to do something with high treason, like turning a starship over to the Romulans or Klingons.

Considering Captain Ron Tracey's greed for profit in "The Omega Glory" I'd say General Order 4 might have been a good deterrent to prevent him from just doing such a thing.

Bob
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Old May 27 2013, 11:14 PM   #18
Relayer1
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Re: death penalty in star trek

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
In the 23rd century, violating General Order 7 is the only crime punishable by death in the Federation. Stated so in The Menagerie.
Which was, in the 60's probably meant to show how far we had come by banning execution for most crimes.

Unfortunately, in this day and age looks rather it looks bizarre that there would be the death penalty for ANY crime in the 23rd century...
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Old May 27 2013, 11:15 PM   #19
Timo
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Re: death penalty in star trek

But "Turnabout Intruder" is specific that for TOS General Order 4 carries a death sentence. I imagine it has to do something with high treason, like turning a starship over to the Romulans or Klingons.
Wouldn't something like that have carried the death penalty all along, though? Yet back in "The Menagerie", GO 4 carried no death penalty. So it's probably something less universal that GO 4 regulates, something that only becomes an issue in special circumstances such as those Pike got tangled in.

Tracey was greedy? His defense of the last Kohm community wasn't motivated by greed, but by simple survival issues - self- and altruist. That this created a situation where Kirk was forced to arrest him then drove him deeper into a corner; using longevity as a bargaining chip was probably just another survival strategy...

Unfortunately, in this day and age looks rather it looks bizarre that there would be the death penalty for ANY crime in the 23rd century...
How so? An ever-larger percentage of humanity is supporting it nowadays... And in absolute terms, it has more supporters than at any other point in history.

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Old May 27 2013, 11:20 PM   #20
Creepy Critter
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Re: death penalty in star trek

I took the line stating that "Only Fleet Command knows why" there's a death penalty for visiting Talos IV to mean that there was something else that happened that we aren't made aware of.

Perhaps the Talosians made another, more serious attempt to capture humans, which Starfleet judged to be a clear and present danger to the Federation.

Their power was staggering. They could reach out to a starbase light-years away and project a perfect illusion there.
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Old May 28 2013, 12:49 AM   #21
Relayer1
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Re: death penalty in star trek

Timo wrote: View Post
How so? An ever-larger percentage of humanity is supporting it nowadays... And in absolute terms, it has more supporters than at any other point in history.
But our view of an enlightened society (i.e. 23rd century Federation) has changed. I think you'd struggle to think of a society as near utopian as the Federation that kills its criminals.
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Old May 28 2013, 01:26 AM   #22
Harvey
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Re: death penalty in star trek

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
From "Turnabout Intruder"

KIRK: Enough to convict you of conspiracy with mutineers. And you're so charged. The sentence, death. Mister Lemli.
CHEKOV: Starfleet expressly forbids the death penalty.
KIRK: All my senior officers turning against me?
SULU: The death penalty is forbidden. There's only one exception.
CHEKOV: General Order Four. It has not been violated by any officer on the Enterprise.
KIRK: I am responsible. The execution will be immediate. Go to your posts. Go to your posts.

This is an interesting riddle:

Has General Order 7 been abolished? Since Spock did violate General Order 7 in "The Menagerie" it appears Chekov did not confuse the two.
Fans can try to explain the error any way they want, but it arose after a de Forest research memo called the order number four instead of number seven -- probably the result of confusing Talos IV with General Order 7.

Starfleet expressly forbids the death penalty...There are no exceptions. The death penalty is forbidden – This is NOT true. Violation of General Order Four, forbidding contact with Talos IV, carries the death penalty. It was suspended on one occasion dramatized in “Menagerie.” It is still in effect. Suggest regularize. (Menagerie is one of the best known, most honored episodes of STAR TREK, winner of science fiction awards, etc. Its precedents can hardly be ignored.)
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Old May 28 2013, 08:49 AM   #23
Robert Comsol
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Re: death penalty in star trek

Timo wrote: View Post
Tracey was greedy?
TRACEY: He will if you order it. We must have a doctor researching this. Are you grasping all it means? This immunising agent here, once we've found it, is a fountain of youth. Virtual immortality, or as much as any man will ever want.
KIRK: For sale by
TRACEY: By those who own the serum. McCoy will eventually isolate it. Meanwhile, you inform your ship your situation's impossible. Order them away. When we're ready, we'll bargain for a whole fleet of ships to pick us up. And they'll do it.
KIRK: Yes, I suppose they would.
TRACEY: We've got to stay alive. Let the Yangs kill us and destroy what we have to offer and we'll have committed a crime against all humanity. I'd say that's slightly more important than the Prime Directive, wouldn't you, Jim?
KIRK: It's a very interesting proposition. Let me think it over.

To me this sounds more like a Ferengi than a devoted starship captain.

@ Harvey

Interesting behind-the-scenes anecdote, but it deserves "in-universe" rationalization to exit a vicious cycle.

It seemed Chekov wasn't aboard the Enterprise during TOS Season One, but the encounter with Khan in ST II suggested otherwise.

Hence, there's no reason not to assume he was aboard during events of "The Menagerie" and from whatever angle you look at it, Spock had objectively violated General Order 7.

Thus Chekov's statement in "Turnabout Intruder" has to refer to General Order 4, otherwise you get two production mistakes for the price of one, which I find unacceptable.

Besides, what's the use of such a General Order if it becomes irrelevant or obsolete the moment it is violated? In this particular case, I believe Starfleet and Robert Comsol had the wisdom to rethink their attitude regarding General Order 7.

Bob
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Old May 29 2013, 02:19 PM   #24
Timo
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Re: death penalty in star trek

It seemed Chekov wasn't aboard the Enterprise during TOS Season One, but the encounter with Khan in ST II suggested otherwise.
Yet "Catspaw" suggests Chekov is new to the ship a few stardates before "Space Seed"... And several stardates after "The Menagerie".

On the other hand, "The Deadly Years" has Chekov indicate understanding of what's so funny about a "corbomite device". If he wasn't there to witness Kirk's original use of the bluff, and his crewmates just brought him up to speed, surely they would also have done so on the issue of Spock hijacking the ship and defying GO7 without consequence.

I think there's plenty of reason to think that death penalties come and go as Starfleet encounters new, dangerous but tempting things mere mortals easily succumb to. Sometimes these are simple utilitarian quarantine measures ("He got contaminated, so it's convenient we have this rule that automatically makes his liquidation not just possible but mandatory"). Sometimes they are there to deter, too ("Few will risk their lives for a potentiality when we slap this approach ban and refuse to explain anything, but if somebody does and gets contaminated, hey, we have the mandate to liquidate him"). These are temporary solutions, though, and eventually Starfleet sends a few Vorgon ships under GO24 to take care of the quarantine problem once and for all. Or then negotiates a peace treaty with the contaminant.

Fundamentally, every Starfleet order contains the potential for death penalty in some form or another: Starfleet employees have the license to kill, and the GO series just regulates how this killing should be conducted.

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Old May 29 2013, 05:39 PM   #25
Crazyewok
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Re: death penalty in star trek

General Order 7 always confused me.

Such a wierd thing to place a death penalty on.....

It is really 1960 Si Fi tacy
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Old May 29 2013, 06:35 PM   #26
Captain McBain
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Re: death penalty in star trek

You're sentenced to death for going to the Talosian home planet, but murdering of fellow Starfleet officers or mutiny during wartime doesn't bring about such a penalty?
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Old May 29 2013, 07:17 PM   #27
Timo
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Re: death penalty in star trek

Makes good sense. Criminals in TOS aren't punished - they are cured. You can be cured of being a murderous asshole, and punishing you would serve no purpose whatsoever. Well, except satisfy the bloodlust of your victims. But if they have such bloodlust, they are disgusting criminals themselves, and need to be cured.

But going to Talos is not a crime. It's a fatal mistake. You can't be cured of going to Talos, because you are irrevocably corrupted by Talosians; you will help them escape their planet; and then the whole galaxy will fall to their telepathic powers. The only cure to that is death: if you return from Talos, you can't be allowed to live.

That is, until the events of "The Menagerie" prove that the quarantine of Talos is futile from the get-go, as Spock has been corrupted across interstellar distances and a starship has been brought for the Talosians to use. All is lost at this point, and the death penalty makes no sense: either Talosians have proved their goodwill by not taking over the universe and the penalty is not needed for containment, or they have already taken over Starfleet with their illusions and the penalty won't do any good!

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Old May 29 2013, 07:33 PM   #28
Crazyewok
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Re: death penalty in star trek

Timo wrote: View Post
Makes good sense. Criminals in TOS aren't punished - they are cured. You can be cured of being a murderous asshole, and punishing you would serve no purpose whatsoever. Well, except satisfy the bloodlust of your victims. But if they have such bloodlust, they are disgusting criminals themselves, and need to be cured.

But going to Talos is not a crime. It's a fatal mistake. You can't be cured of going to Talos, because you are irrevocably corrupted by Talosians; you will help them escape their planet; and then the whole galaxy will fall to their telepathic powers. The only cure to that is death: if you return from Talos, you can't be allowed to live.

That is, until the events of "The Menagerie" prove that the quarantine of Talos is futile from the get-go, as Spock has been corrupted across interstellar distances and a starship has been brought for the Talosians to use. All is lost at this point, and the death penalty makes no sense: either Talosians have proved their goodwill by not taking over the universe and the penalty is not needed for containment, or they have already taken over Starfleet with their illusions and the penalty won't do any good!

Timo Saloniemi
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?

But execution?

Why not have capital punishment for crossing the Romulan neutral zone or playing the bongo on a klingons forhead? Both of which would have caused a equal amount of hurt for the federation.
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Old May 29 2013, 07:44 PM   #29
Timo
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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.

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Old May 29 2013, 07:52 PM   #30
Crazyewok
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Re: death penalty in star trek

Timo wrote: View Post
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
Then I think execute and capital punishment are the wrong terms as it implies punsihmnet.

Just the term quarantined implies that if you break it you will be killed.
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