View Full Version : A simple criminal code

2008-11-03, 12:13 PM
This is in a society with 3 free castes: Low, Medium and Noble. Below that are slaves and indentured servants.

There are 4 notches or degrees of crime: Minor, Medium, Serious and Capital.

Crimes against slaves and indentured servants are treated as property crimes. Crimes by Slaves or Indentured servants are punished 1 notch higher.

Those accused of a crime are brought before a judge. Each judge has a limited amount of power both in caste and in degree.

Ie, a Low Capital Judge can sentence any member of the low caste to anything up to a Capital crime.

Minor Officers of the Guards are typically Minor Low Judges -- they can arrest and convict on their own say-so any low caste for a minor crime. Higher rank Officers are Medium Low Judges.

One can appeal to a Judge of higher degree, but that Judge has no obligation to hear your appeal.

Each region has Sovereign nobles. These nobles have Capital Noble Judge powers, and can overrule any lower judge at will. It is relatively common for a sufficient gift to the Sovereign noble to give you a chance at having your punishment lowered 1 notch, but it isn't cheap.

Bribing a Judge that isn't Sovereign is illegal.

All Judges dictate the facts -- there is no jury.

Minor: 6 months in gaol (causing a bother in public, touching a superior caste, building code violation, first failure to pay taxes)

Medium: 4 year in gaol (theft from or assault of a low caste, failing to obey an order from a guard, vandalism)

Serious: 12 years in gaol (hindering the guard, theft from or assault of a medium caste, second failure to pay taxes, murder of a low caste)

Capital: Death, can be commuted to Lifelong Slavery (arson, desertion, attacking a guard, theft from or assault of a noble, murder of a medium caste, blasphemy, cult membership, bribing a Judge, chronic failure to pay taxes)

Time in gaol is spent in hard labor unless the punished person can pay for their own prison time. Various rates exist for various qualities of prison.

Military service can be substituted for punishment time, if you are fit to serve.

People will quality skills (enchantment, crafting, etc) can serve their time as an indentured worker if there is someone of sufficient standing willing to pay for their labor to the state.

If there is a victim's representative, up to half of the sentence can be commuted if the victim's representative asks for clemency. This is usually asked in exchange for the victim being compensated for the damage at whatever rates the victim demands... The Judge keeps 1 part in 4 of such compensation.

2008-11-03, 01:34 PM
Reads like Tekumel (http://www.tekumel.com/) to me. :smallconfused:

2008-11-03, 01:59 PM
Crimes against slaves and indentured servants are treated as property crimes. Crimes by Slaves or Indentured servants are punished 1 notch higher.

If the slave commits a crime, does the owner of the slave pay for the crime, or do the slaves pay (thus depriving the owner of property for that time frame)? It seems like there would be precedent to have the owner pay for the crimes of the slave, if perhaps at a tier lower in severity.