TriadCity Message of the Day

TriadCity's mature (like anything's ever mature in TC!) Justice System is undergoing QA right now in our extensive development environment (Mark's Toshiba laptop). The first components are likely to be online real soon now, perhaps as early as a day or two. We thought we'd take a minute to explain the basic concepts behind "justice" in TC, to give you a few hints of what's coming.

Not surprisingly, "justice" is a relative notion in The City, varying in subtle or significant ways between the Thirds. Where NorthWest may prefer to take a more nonviolent approach, NorthEast is more likely to haul 'em off to the gibbet at dawn. Sentencing approaches may even vary from Judge to Judge. Here are some generalities.

The NorthWest Third administers justice via People's Tribunals consisting of one professional legal expert as Judge, along with two citizen jurists serving their mandatory annual public service on the Court. There are never any trials per se, as CrimeNet provides a perfect record of all known criminal events. Instead, Court proceedings are simple sentencing affairs, with the Judge following guidelines mandated by the Third Assembly.

NorthWest eschews the death penalty, and prefers not to lock offenders up at all unless they're considered truly dangerous. Those guilty of first offenses, minor crimes, or nonviolent crimes are dealt with in a lighthearted yet annoying way, by being sentenced to a large maze called "PUNishment". In PUNishment, maze doors open when a correctly punning answer to a joke question is spoken out loud. Sentence is complete when the maze is exited. Violent and repeat criminals are more likely to face prison time. Murderers receive life without parole. All convicts pay Court fines which are deducted from bank accounts. Convicts sent to prison have their personal property (equipment and inventory) confiscated and sold at auction. These fines and sales offset the Third's expenses.

The NorthEastern Third has an elaborate network of police, courts, jails and prisons, in which individual Judges have considerable latitude re sentencing. As with the other Thirds, evidence provided by CrimeNet is considered absolute. Some Judges are elected, others are appointed by the Mayor or the Senate, while others have purchased their positions on the open market. In NorthEast, crimes against property are often considered more serious than crimes of violence; indeed, depending on the Judge, murderers may be let off with a fine. Fines are often considerable, and in many cases find their way into the pockets of the arresting officers and the Court staffs, including the Judges. It's sometimes said that the wealthier one is, the less likely one is to serve prison time, while the poorer one is, the more likely one is to face execution. Many forms of execution are practiced, including hanging, guillotine, firing squad, impaling, crucifixion, stoning, exposure, strangulation, electrocution, lethal injection, gladiatorial combat in The Arena, and many others, most of which are typically nasty. Prison staff, police, and courtroom officials appreciate a fat tip, and it's not necessarily the case that sentences are actually served. It all depends.

The Southern Third has no prisons, nor indeed Courts at all in the usual sense. Instead, South relies on medical technology to effectively alter convicts' desires to commit future crimes. It's said that these techniques are largely effective, with occasional side effects. Sentences are imposed by CrimeNet directly, without unnecessary or distracting human involvement.

It might be worth noting that interesting people can be met in prison, including, perhaps unsurprisingly, individuals with advanced criminal experience and skills. Sometimes, very advanced.

Each Third will bring its Justice system online independently. NorthWest is nearly there. Once the Third is ready, its police officers will no longer attack wanted criminals. Instead, those on the wanted list will be arrested and taken for sentencing. Announcements will be made as these changes go online.

Questions? Use the bulletin boards for discussion.

Be good out there.

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