Crime & Punishment

For Laws the first step of the Re’chot is to refer to the Scripture. As for a variety of historical, theological and political reasons different cities use different books as their offical scripture. This leads to a lot of dispute over what the law actually is. However each town tries to be quite, quite clear on offical doctrine and the laws that follow. Often these will be collated in Books of Law for the relevant city – but in case of dispute Scripture is the first port of all to cast light on what the law actually means.

Scripture written as a narrative and moral code for a pastoral or enslaved people also means that Scripture does not cast much light on commerical acitvity. The Tawny employ a state controlled economy os Pharonic law from the occupation had issues dealing with such issues.  Therefore as inspiration for contract law the Re’chot cities borrow from Reich’s law and what can be implied from close reading of Scriptures on honesty, loyalty etc; 

The usual crimes of murder, theft, rape etc; are outlawed. As the more severe and theologically strict cities there are moral crimes against smoking, excess comusmption of alachol (or non-state drink), fratenising with the opposite sex, dress etc; 

The law is enforced by City Guard, Rural Gendarmarie (sometimes combined in the same body) or by community action. Most cities permit citizens arrest and if the Gendarmarie don’t visit often or are corrupt the peasants will handle the law themselves. On arrest a suspect should be imprisioned in the local gaol and await trial. It can take many months for a trial date to be set. As a result the law officers (or local vigilantes) can offer a ‘friendly beating’ or mutilation to a suspect with confisication of plunder as an alternative but this isn’t the correct legal form.  Fugitives will frequently flee to other cities and as a result bounty hunters flourish though they have no offical status and they are paid by victims of parties of concerned citizens rather than any City authorities.

A trial forms the basis of a the suspect (or there respresentative) arguing they are innocent in front of a Judge appointed by the local city with a state appointed prosecutor (sometimes a Guard or Gendarme officer.) Witnesses are summoned and cross examined and the Judge casts sentence with reference to the local Book of the Law  & Scripture. There is no offical appeal process but sometimes the Leaders of a City might overturn an inconvient verdict. Capital and corporal punishment are both accepted parts of the legal system and punishment has to be seen to be done.  The legal system is weighted to towards the local Temple & local elites therefore for justice the poor or out of favour will resolve their own differences or use VCs or Polis gangs to give them justice.  

Commerical law owes a lot to the Reich legal system which relies on balances the weight an testimony of sworn witnesses. Therefore their is a floruishing trade in sworn witnesses who are hired to witness contract negotiations and swear to their interpretation. Such witnesses can be bribed and pressured but also tend to be wealthy and influential and combine it with other jobs in politics, law, the Priesthood or Administration.

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Published on May 1, 2011 at 7:19 am  Leave a Comment  

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