This short story is part of Galactic Chronicles, an ongoing space opera based on our multiplayer campaign in Paradox’s space grand strategy game, Stellaris. Events and characters, while embellished heavily in some cases, are based on actual events and characters encountered during gameplay. These entries do not have to be experienced in a specific order, but the “Earth Standardized Solar Date” header will indicate where in the galactic timeline a particular entry falls.
This story concerns the end of the United Galactic Imperium, a human government based on Earth.
[EARTH STANDARDIZED SOLAR DATE 2303.08.25]
Be it so enacted
In the interest of rendering manifold law plain, and for the purpose of rapid and fair process
The Alliance Penal Code is hereby
For the Glory of the Imperium
It is so replaced and overruled by
Entry 17 of the Imperial Codex
Criminality and Dispensation
a. There shall be two classes of crimes: Crimes against the Body and Crimes against the Spirit of the Imperium. There shall be three tiers for each crime.
b. There shall be no other crimes but these crimes.
II. The Rights of the Accused
a. The accused shall not be tried unless there exists clear and convincing evidence of their guilt.
b. There need only be reasonable suspicion to detain a suspect, but said suspect may only be detained for thirty days. On the thirty-first day, the suspect must either be arraigned or released.
c. The accused shall be judged by a Board of Five. This board shall consist of three superior officers, one serviceperson of equivalent rank, and one of lower rank. The accused will be tried by this board; The accused is not entitled to a jury of peers, but shall be judged by those worthy of evaluating the merit of the evidence against them.
d. There shall be no right to advocacy. The accused may hire an advocate, or avail themselves of the services of a volunteer. The citizen who can accumulate wealth sufficient to mount of defense, or inspire loyalty such that a defense is mounted for them, is a citizen worthy of that privilege. Those who fail to secure advocacy by treasure or sentiment shall advocate for themselves, pursuant to Imperial Codex Entry 24: The Rules of Evidence in Tribunal, Bureaucracy, and Court.
III. The Responsibilities of Citizens
a. Once per year, a citizen must serve on a Board of Five. Failure to fulfill this duty is a Tier 1 Crime Against the Spirit of Empire.
b. Aiding and Abetting a Criminal Against the Spirit so shall be a Crime Against the Spirit of the same Tier. Aiding and Abetting, as well as Conspiring and Soliciting a Crime Against the Body, so shall be a Crime Against the Body of the same tier.
IV. Aiding, Abetting, Conspiring, Soliciting
a. A citizen whom aids a criminal does so when the citizen provides material benefit or assistance to the criminal with actual or constructive knowledge of the criminal’s intent to commit a crime in the future. There is no requirement for imminence, nor for succor.
b. A person who abets a criminal is a citizen who assists in the hiding or flight from justice of a criminal, and renders any assistance, material or trivial, intended to help them evade capture. If a lack of knowledge or intent is assert, the citizen must prove by clear and convincing evidence that they are innocent.
c. A conspirator is a citizen who assists in the planning and execution of a crime with another criminal or criminals, but does not take overt actions to actually commit the crime.
d. A solicitor is one who incites another citizen to perform a criminal act that materially or sentimentally benefits the solicitor. Mere request or assertion is insufficient; Consideration, duress, or inducement must be present for solicitation to occur.
V. Crimes Against the Body
a. When one harms a citizen of the Empire or its property, one has committed a crime against its body. Intent is relevant only in sentencing and pleas for leniency; For Crime Against the Body, there is only innocence and guilt.
b. These crimes shall be punished by hard labor or cryostasis confinement but for one. The murder of one citizen by another shall incur the penalty of death for the murderer. There shall be no exceptions.
VI. Crimes Against the Spirit
a. Citizens who act to damage the integrity of the Empire, its ways, and/or its economy, have harmed its Spirit and so shall be punished.
b. These crimes shall be punished by restitution, demotion, and/or re-education.
There is but one defense
No person who harms Body or Spirit is so guilty of crime
Who Acts to Defend the Empire
And Reasonably and Sincerely Believes
They Are So Doing
Be it enacted.