========================= Criminal Case 3331 =========================
Bucky committed the class-3 crime of Naughtiness (violating Rule
2356) when he sent the message whose body was "I taunt the police,
specifying 3." on June 22nd, 2013.
Judgement: NOT GUILTY
Called by Bucky: 29 May 2013 16:47:12 GMT
Defendant Bucky informed: 29 May 2013 16:47:12 GMT
Assigned to G.: 30 May 2013 14:50:24 GMT
Judged NOT GUILTY by G.: 30 May 2013 16:55:36 GMT
Prosecutor's Arguments: The described action is clearly a violation of the
Defendent's Arguments: This should trivially be "NOT GUILTY" because the
alleged act did not happen within 30 days prior to the initiation of the case.
Gratuitous Evidence by Machiavelli:
June 22, 2013 hasn't happened yet.
Judge G.'s Arguments:
The Accused and Rule violated are present and clear here. However,
some care must be taken on what is the alleged act. The clause for
specifying the alleged act is (R1504):
(b) an action the Accused allegedly performed or failed to
Note the past tense in this statement. Often, one doesn't quibble about
precise grammatical constructions, but in this case it is relevant and
fits with common sense; this clause is generally written to pertain to
events or actions that occurred in the past.
How then, do we read an allegation, made in in May 2013, that "Bucky
[committed crime] on June 22nd, 2013?" It is tempting, on one hand, to
say that this is simply a false or undetermined statement that might
become true on or after June 22, and leave it at that. If this were
an Inquiry Case as to the occurrence of the act, this would be the
wholly correct approach.
However, as pointed out in discussion by Machiavelli, we are talking
about the "alleged" act in criminal cases. In particular, in later
sections of R1504, it matters whether "substantially the same alleged
act" has been judged already. This includes the substance of the
allegation as well as the act.
Timing definitely alters the substance of an allegation. An act
alleged to have occurred in May is different than an act alleged to have
occurred in June. But what about the same alleged date (in this case,
June 22nd 2013), looked at from the past or the future?
Our initial intuition is that they are different. The phrasing of R1504
(in past tense) suggests that they are different. Culture, usage, and
in particular considerations of justice suggest that they are different:
a classic science fiction dystopian trope is that of Thought Crime or
FutureCrime being fundamentally "different" types of justice that bring
issues of free will and societal control into question.
Moreover, the precedent of CFJ 2316 particularly illustrates the
difference in an Agoran legal context: what if Bucky were to taunt the
police twice on June 22nd? Then this current allegation becomes
ambiguous. Basically, the potential nature of the current allegation
and its ability to change is fundamentally different in substance than
an allegation made about a past event. As found by CFJ 2316, it is not
generally possible (in the current Agoran legal sense) to unambiguously
refer to (for example, make an allegation about) a future, specific
event that is still or will be under the domain of control of a causal
agent such as a first-class player (ref: CFJ 1895 concerning causal
agents). To ignore the substantial difference that free will plays is
to commit the typical Agoran fallacy of treating legal constructs and
aspects of free will as strictly-determinable algorithmic computations.
Against this, the only counter-argument (for treating this statement as
the "same allegation" over time) is the approach than would be taken in
the strict logical domain of an inquiry case. To This Court, the
preponderance of reason lies on the side of treating allegations about
the past and allegations about the future as fundamentally different
in substance when examined in a criminal context.
To that end, This Court finds the defendant NOT GUILTY. Not because the
"act" is FALSE and may later become TRUE, but because the "alleged act"
is not sufficiently formed in substance to make a determination beyond
a reasonably doubt as to what future act is being referenced.