Empok Nor: Is Garak guilty of murder?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Mr. Laser Beam, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    Even though Garak's actions in this episode were the result of poisoning by a drug, isn't he still responsible for what he did? O'Brien did say that there would be a hearing about it afterwards but also that "the truth would come out". But is the truth relevant, in this case?

    The natural reaction would, of course, be to say that Garak wasn't responsible, he shouldn't be guilty of murder, he'd gone crazy because it was the drug that made him do it. The classic insanity defense.

    But consider this: Earlier in the episode, it was said that the drug amplified the existing Cardassian tendency for xenophobia and paranoia. Meaning, it doesn't create feelings and tendencies where none exist, it merely makes existing ones stronger. So doesn't this mean that Garak - being a Cardassian - already hates humans and secretly wants to kill them? And therefore, because the drug only brought an existing prejudice and violent tendency out into the open, shouldn't Garak be on the hook for Amaro's murder?

    (I do agree with Garak on one thing, though...it would have been a BAD IDEA for Garak to try to apologize personally to Amaro's wife)
     
  2. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Alpha Centauri
    He's responsible for it in a way, but... not entirely. It was sort of accidental- it pulled and pieces of his personality usually repressed.

    Like- the child soldiers in Africa kill their families... but they're drugged, they don't know what they're doing really, and the drugs have warped their minds to an insane degree.

    All the drugs did was make him paranoid... xenophobic. He had the talent from the OO that made it worse. It doesn't mean he secretly wanted to kill everyone, though he was always clear with Sisko that at a choice between his life and others- he'd pick himself.

    I don't think he'd be punished today, let alone then. Today, he'd be released once his mental problems were solved.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    I wish we could have seen the hearing. That would have been some intense courtroom drama. Especially if the prosecution put Amaro's wife on the stands.
     
  4. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Babaganoosh--I would say that all of us have tendencies that we would not care to admit to. Do we as humans not have xenophobic tendencies? I would suggest that as much as we don't want to admit it...we do. Such is part of our nature, but a person who is of right mind has the ability to recognize that those things are not desirable and to keep them in check--to decide they will not indulge that line of thought, they will not follow through on that course of action because they know that while there may be some instinct that encourages it, that it's wrong.

    To me, my question would be, what is Garak's attitude towards those tendencies in himself when he is of right mind? Does he believe they are legitimate, or that he has a duty to resist them? Is he repulsed by the dark sides of himself?

    That's always a tough thing to tell with Garak, but I, at least, thought he was very deeply ashamed and that his remorse demonstrated that those were not actions he believed in, in his right mind. Garak even seemed at peace with the knowledge that O'Brien had intended to kill him for what he was doing--that his actions deserved death. Maybe part of him worries that he shouldn't have been allowed to live, now that he's seen his dark side expressed to this extent...perhaps as atonement. And it seems like he was badly shaken...you don't see any signs of his usual "masks." I think that, too, is a sign of his real feelings--he can't even find it in himself to lie.

    I can't believe I'm defending Garak. Normally I don't like him at all. And yet I don't think what we saw on that station was conduct that, if he'd been in his right mind, he would ever have approved of.
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    ^ Excellent points, Nerys.

    I personally have always been very ashamed to admit that I, or anyone, could have a 'dark side'. I've spent my life trying to hide it, even eliminate it. But as Tuvok once said in a VOY episode (I'm paraphrasing here), "To deny one's dark side is to create an opportunity for it to escape".

    Edit: I found the transcript of the scene I was thinking of. It's from "Cold Fire".

    For Garak's part, he did seem ashamed for what he'd done after the drug was purged from his system. And even so, you can't punish people for having feelings (hate crime laws notwithstanding), only for their overt actions. If Garak would have never killed a human without the drug, then I guess that's enough.
     
  6. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    What spoke the most to me about Garak's true feelings (his words while still drugged notwithstanding) was the fact that he was at peace with the idea that O'Brien would have put him to death if at all possible. At least to me...in the entire series (even during "The Wire,") I never saw Garak so vulnerable, scared, and stripped down to the core of himself.
     
  7. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Garak was under the influence of drugs which he did not choose to take, therefore no, he is not guilty of murder in the Empok Nor cases.

    On the other hand, if he had chosen to take them, then he would be guilty of murder.

    Although of course the ironic thing is, being guilty of murder is something that Garak certainly is in many other cases, most of which we don't even know about, but many we do (ie: Tain's enemies, the dude in ITPM, Weyoun etc. etc.).
     
  8. Kira Nerys

    Kira Nerys Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Garak was under the influence of a drug so the answer is no.
     
  9. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    That's a VERY good point about the fact that Garak didn't choose to take that drug. He didn't know what it was when he stuck his fingers in it. He wasn't the equivalent of a drunk driver, who knowingly got drunk and would therefore be liable for reckless disregard for life if he killed someone.
     
  10. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    I think he was clearly given a pass by the authorities.

    Here's an interesting thought: was he guilty of murder on previous occasions when working for the Obsidian Order?

    I bet no one could prove it. ;)
     
  11. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    In the Obsidian Order--most likely so. In the Pale Moonlight--almost certainly.

    And this is why I feel weird defending Garak. Because this was the one time where he deserved acquittal.
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    'In the Pale Moonlight' for sure.

    Very, very true regarding defending him. I think it's part of what makes him so compelling.
     
  13. DeafPoet

    DeafPoet Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I think that's what makes it such a cool episode. It never sat right with me that they were just going to let Garak off the hook. Even though it's fairly obvious that he wasn't mentally capable of stopping himself from committing those crimes.

    You guy are right on the money when you say he deserved the punishment at least a few times over, just not for what he did that day.
     
  14. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Thor Damar, God of thunder and monologue..
    ^ That's true of most Cardassians from Damar's murder of Ziyal, to Ghemor's service on Bajor (though there is no evidence of any crimes committed by the Old Man).

    It's actually become a running joke on DS9, as seen below...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1RTWnXfcdU
     
  15. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    With Tekeny...you're quite right--we don't even know if he fired his weapon. But somehow I think of any Cardassian, he is the one most likely to be genuinely upset about it if he DID take any Bajoran lives. If he did--which again we have no proof of it--I would not be surprised if having that on his conscience contributed to his decision to become a dissident.

    As it is...we sure saw that even BEING there was a wound that hurt him right to the death.
     
  16. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Thor Damar, God of thunder and monologue..
    ^ Absolutely, and consider the affect upon Damar when the question "What kind of a State would tolerate this" was thrown back at him.
    Garak has said( in a Sitch in time) that Cardassians always learn to live with their guilt and to accept it. The problem is that for centuries the Cardassian people have lived under a system and a ideology that goes againist their inbuilt spirituality. I think that this poisonous legacy would cause a lot of mental strife for most Cardassians.
     
  17. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Location:
    America after the rain

    What bothered me was in Garak's dialogue with Sisko he says something to the effect that "We've saved the Alpha Quadrant, and all it cost was the lives of a criminal and a Romulan Senator, and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer."

    Yeah, screw those totally innocent bodyguards you mentioned just ten minutes earlier.
     
  18. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Thor Damar, God of thunder and monologue..
    ^ No one ever stops to think about the henchmen do they?
     
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Very well put. :)
     
  20. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Location:
    America after the rain
    I like to think of them as Vreenak's Nos. 21 and 24.