============================== CFJ 2311 ==============================
I have some rests.
Called by ehird: 15 Dec 2008 14:02:18 GMT
Assigned to G.: 19 Dec 2008 00:07:55 GMT
Judged TRUE by G.: 05 Jan 2009 18:46:23 GMT
vi. Every person has the right to not be penalized more than
once for any single action or inaction.
First I was punished by the chokey, and now (for, uh, not being able
to predict the future of the punishment system?) I'm being punished
by Rests by being unable to vote.
Due to R101(vi), I believe the second was in fact ineffective.
Judge G.'s Arguments:
General finding 1:
If a player is currently under the punishment of a continuing sentence
defined by the rules, and a rule change or proposal clause directly and
specifically transmutes the punishment into a different kind of punishment,
then it is reasonable to assume, prima facie, that the punishment is an
entity covered by R1586 (Definition and Continuity of Entities) and that
the punishment continues to exist "to whatever extent is possible under the
new definitions" and thus is not a wholly new second (i.e. "more than one")
penalty for the purposes of R101(vi), and thus may continue to exist under
the new definition. This is in keeping with the generally permissive
Agoran attitude of what constitutes an "entity". Also, if a half-finished
punishment's terms are changed mid-stream, a defendant has not served a
single whole punishment, so the changed penalty does not necessarily add to
"more than one" punishment.
General finding 2:
Given the importance of R101(vi), that prima facie assumption *might* be
overruled if the new definition is shown to substantially increases the
practical effect of the punishment from its initial application. But what
is the bar for "substantial increase"? It is not straightforward to
calculate an "exchange rate" for an equivalency in effective punishment.
Even if it were, we must take into account that the change occurred through
the fundamental legislative process (proposals) adjusting the "reality" of
the game and not through the courts or through a re-judgement; the proposal
mechanism can make relatively arbitrary changes to the gamestate that
disadvantage some players over others without calling the change a
"penalty" per se. If a player, for example, "steals" currencies through
a bug, and the theft had been punished through the criminal courts, and a
later proposal attempts to reset the stolen currencies, is that proposal a
second punishment? Are all such changes to the game state via proposal to
be considered "punishment" for R101(vi) purposes on the grounds that someone
comes out the worse? No. That is part of the legislative process. To
overrule a proposal on R101(vi) grounds, then, the defendant has a high bar
to show that the punishment is truly a new one (a higher bar, for example,
than one would have to cross to show that a "punishment exchange" were
merely inequitable under equity law).
General finding 3:
A fine levied against a poor person versus a rich person for the same crime
would be substantially harder on the poor person as e has less to spare.
However, while mercy might compel a lightening of the sentence for the poor,
mercy is not necessarily the same as "equal treatment under Rule". In
other words, one must ask if the punishment *in general* is that much more
onerous on any typical player, rather than specifically on an individual
player; and it must be seen as more onerous to a reasonable player/judge in
general, not just in the opinion of the defendant [see Judge BobTHJ's
arguments in CFJ 1981 on the invalidity of using a defendant's opinion of
With these general findings in mind, what of the current case?
In this case, before the passage of Proposal 6010, ehird was due to
exit the chokey on 19-Feb-09 according to the CotC's docket. Chokey
ceases to have relevant meaning upon the adoption of the proposal,
replaced instead with Rests. The direct "exchange rate" was set by
Proposal 6010's clause:
> For each person in the chokey immediately before this proposal was
> adopted, create 1 Rest in eir possession for each week remaining in the
> tariff of the sentence that causes em to be in the chokey, to a maximum
> of 23 Rests for that person.
As this proposal took effect on 13-Dec-2008, this would amount to 9 Rests
in ehird's possesion.
Are the practical effects of 9 rests substantially *more* of a punishment?
We must look at the consequences if rests versus chokey to know. They
are as follows:
Rule 2190/0 "Being in the chokey is a Losing Condition." is replaced with
Rule 2229/0 "Owning one or more Rests is a Losing Condition.". This is
no net change, so not a new punishment.
Rule 2156/10 "The initial voting limit of an eligible voter on an
ordinary decision is eir caste at the start of its voting period, or
half that (rounded up) if the voter was in the chokey at that time."
is replaced with:
Rule 2156/11 "The voting limit of an eligible voter on an ordinary
decision is eir caste at the start of its voting period, reduced to
the next lower caste (minimum Savage) for each positive multiple of 4
Rests that the voter posesses at the start of the voting period."
This is the trickiest one.
In some specific circumstances, such as ehird's, this represented
a lowering of voting power (increasing of punishment); however, it
is not true for all castes, and not necessarily a tremendous change.
The key consideration is that there is a wholly new addition as
Rule 2228/0 "A player CAN spend two Notes in order to destroy a Rest
owned by a player e specifies."
This raises the question: if your voting power has been lowered
due to the change in punishment, but you can spend to get out early,
have you gained or lost in punishment? It will vary player-by-player,
opinion-by-opinion, depending on circumstances and style of play.
In general, though, it is not such an onerous and uniformly negative
change that a judge should go against the legislative result that they
are reasonably similar.
R2229/0 "While a person owns at least 8 Rests, that person CANNOT
spend Notes except to destroy Rests e owns. This takes precedence
over any other rule."
Previously, there was no restriction on spending for those in the
chokey. This severely limits strategy; for example, a player with
more than eight rests can't spend to increase caste to reduce the
effects of punishment. This, the court finds, *is* a wholly new
punishment, and the claim of precedence does not work against R101.
This does not invalidate Rests, it merely creates a conflict between
this clause and R101, which R101 wins.
Therefore, taking A-C together, this court finds that ehird DOES have
Rests, that constitute a losing condition and reduce voting power
as indicated by the Rules, without violating R101. However, R101 takes
precedence over the clause of R2229/0 that limits ehird's spending,
thus e is not currently constrained by the "CANNOT spend Notes" clause
of R2229/0 (if ehird goes below 8 rests but not down to zero, then goes
up above 8 again, this might need to be readdressed depending on the