Re: OT: Corpses, etc. (was: Re: Gender in conlangs (was: Re: Umlauts (was Re: Elves and Ill Bethisad)))
|Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
|Thursday, November 6, 2003, 20:05
>* Assuming you've got similar ideas of what is nice that I have - I guess some
>Americans would have difficulties to adapt to a society which does not
>practice capital punishment, but considers automatically justified a policeman
>who kills an armed civilian.
In reality, America barely practices capital punishment today. People are
sentenced to death only rarely (in relation to how very many murders are
committed in this country), and most of those death sentences are never
carried out. It's actually a newsworthy event for the entire nation when
a prisoner in any one of the 50 states is executed. It happens that rarely.
Yeah, policemen aren't really supposed to kill armed civilians. People get
pretty upset when that happens. I don't know what it is that the policemen
are supposed to do in certain situations, but it's always a big problem
when the police kill someone.
I expect that a Trehelish soldier* who kills an armed civilian would be
considered justified, in the way that I think you meant armed. I assume
that you meant that the arms were being used against the policeman, not
that the civilian was simply carrying a weapon. In Sovchilen, the capital
city of Trehelan, a lot of the men, and probably at least one third of the
women, wear daggers**, and men who can afford a sword and know how to use
one often wear one. The population of Sovchilen is highly armed***, so the
civilian in question would have to have the weapon unsheathed and act like
they were planning to use it.
Killing in self defense is not even considered a crime under Trehelish law,
but sometimes it can get touchy to determine whether it was self-defense if
both parties had weapons drawn and the witnesses give conflicting
reports. So if a soldier killed a civilian in self-defense, there would be
no questions about the propriety of the act. Most of those cases would
probably never go to court to prove self-defense. (Or things may be such
that a civilian really can't bring a criminal suit like that against a
I'm not certain exactly what the laws are relating to what a property owner
can do to a burgler caught in the act, but the burglar has very little
legal protection. I don't think that it is considered a crime to kill a
burgler while he is on your own property. Of course, as phobic as
Trehelish people are about corpses****, I don't think that they would
especially want to create a fresh one in their own living room (if they
even have what we think of as a "living room.") I expect that any
homeowner who thought that he might have mortally wounded a burglar would
probably tell the burglar to go outside and die there. The Trehelish are
not a gentle people, nor do they put up with thieves. (The fourth
conviction for theft carries the death penalty.) I'm not certain whether
it's really what you would term a "nice" society.
*Trehelan has a standing army which doubles as a police force. They have
absolutely no concept that there even could be separate military and police
forces. Since they don't even have a concept of "police," I simply use the
words "soldier" and "military."
**A dagger being a weapon, a knife being a tool. Everyone, man or woman
(and some children) carries a knife, and a knife can be pressed into
service as a weapon, but a dagger is intended to be a weapon.
***The populations of the smaller cities and towns are less heavily
armed. Sovchilen has the higest crime rate in the country, thus more
people arm themselves.
****Somehow or other, we seem to be keeping this thread on its stated
topic, macabre as that might be. Why is it that the thread on corpses is
the one that stays on topic?