Wanted for Murder: Cmdr Riker

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by davidant32, May 22, 2013.

  1. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Riker shoots her three times. The first time, she goes stumbling back.

    The second time, she almost collapses in pain (and would have if she hadn't grabbed the table). And that was after a quick burst. A sustained burst would have Yuta on the floor in agony, unable to hurt Chorgan.

    But no, despite the fact Riker has a means of sending Yuta reeling, he chooses to kill her instead.
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or to put it another way, she chooses to be killed rather than stopping. It's not as though she didn't know what might happen if she didn't stop...he warned her twice.
     
  3. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    So? The fact that Riker warned her twice did not mean he had to set the phaser to kill. Riker knew that a quick zap would send her reeling back (the second time he shot her). All he had to do was to hit her with a sustained shot, say five seconds, at that same exact power level, and she would have been easily rendered incapacitated or unconscious. All he has to do then is grab her, get a bunch of other folks to hold her so she can't attack Chorgan, then beam her up to the Enterprise and put in the brig. Chorgan and Marouk conclude their negotiations with her in custody, then when they take Marouk home, they turn Yuta over to the Acamarian authorities.

    But instead, Riker chose to kill her.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    And since she hasn't aged a day in fifty-three years she sits in prison for likely hundreds of years or until the last of the Lornak clan dies.
     
  5. DostoyevskyClone

    DostoyevskyClone Captain Captain

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    I'm surprised there's any debate about this at all. Watch the video. After the second shot, she collapses to her knees. After this, Riker increases the power setting again, hitting the button at least three (if not four) times. That means he skipped settings between 'bring a humanoid to his or her knees' and 'vaporize said humanoid.' It's just really bad writing. It's pretty transparent that the writers wanted a certain ending to this episode.

    When I last watched this episode a few years back, I thought it was over-the-top and completely unnecessary. It felt forced. I watched the scene on YouTube yesterday to refresh my memory, and it's bad as I remember it (if not worse) - Riker didn't have to kill her. Like several others have said, the second shot showed that he didn't even have to go beyond that power setting.

    Let's answer some questions:

    1. Would she have gone any further if he kept shooting her on that power setting? Watch the video again. I don't think so.

    2. If you really don't think that second power setting was enough, could he not simply have selected a setting that was higher than the second shot but lower than the third? Yes. It probably would have caused her to completely collapse on the floor from pain.

    He kills her only because the writers decided it would be more dramatic, and a 'better' ending to the episode.
     
  6. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I see what you are saying, but what if that second shot was a "kill" setting? (Phasers were so much simpler when there was just stun and evaporate, they didn't leave corpses, now they just do enough damage to kill but there are bodies.) So, back on track, that first shot didn't stun her and then she's hit on a stronger setting that effectively cooked her liver and she wouldn't have survived much longer, but long enough to kill by touching. Then vaporizing her is just finishing her off quicker and preventing her corpse from killing, because even if she was dead, that would still have killed Chorgan. Just for discussion sake, I don't know this, of course.
     
  7. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Where was this outrage when that crazy lady killed the Crystalline Entity? The guy just needs to eat.
     
  8. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    If the Crystalline Entity were a cute blonde, then there would have been outrage.
     
  9. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or maybe a sustained shot on the second setting -would- have killed her in an agonizing fashion and Riker chose a comparatively painless method when she persisted on attacking. Never know.
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, this thread basically is textbook Monday morning quarterbacking. ;)
     
  12. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ 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.)
     
  13. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wasn't referring to you specifically, just saying that in response to your comment being one of the people who are defending Riker's decision with only a moment to act. I mentioned earlier at worst this would be manslaughter after all.

    A number of other people have been giving their versions of what he should have/could have done in that two second period. Hence the Monday QB comment.

    "O'brien... lock on to Yuta and beam her to the.... oh crap, he's dead... well beam her to the brig anyways." :p
     
  14. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think it would even be manslaughter, really. Self-defense, or defense of another, is pretty much an absolute. The only exception I'm aware of is if the perp turns tail and flees. You can't kill them if they do that, but if they're still attempting to commit the crime, it's fair game.
     
  15. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh I agree, I did say at worst after all. Just playing devil's advocate. Using lethal force to stop her from killing someone else is justifiable to me. If we want a more absolute case to accuse Riker of being a murderer on... well he did casually phaser his and Pulaski's clones in Up the Long Ladder.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I think that would depend how far into the maturation process the clones were.
     
  17. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I just watched this episode, and really, what else could Riker have done. She was stunned twice, almost begged to stop, and he had to go last resort.

    One of the things I found interesting about this episode was the topic of slavery and free will. We always think that Yuta was Murouk's servant, yet looking back on the episode, she never had free will to begin with.
     
  18. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Speculation. Anyway, she seems to be quite resistant to phaser fire, so I doubt a sustained burst would do any serious permanent damage.
     
  19. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    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.

    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.
     
  20. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And that's not speculation? :p