Apollo-Soyuz on October 22, 2010, 07:05:29 am
http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=555

 So I assume the brothers agree and walk away fully compensated. They no longer have a claim against the miscreants. The three owe a debt to Merry.

Thought experiment: Two outta three flee Ceres. One stays to pay off his debt.

1. Can merry put a bounty on the other two's head? Is a broken "gentleman's agreement" enforceable in arbitration?

2. Let's say that the remaining one not only pays off his debt, but as a gesture to be made publicly known also works to pay off the remaining two's debt. Are the two absolved completely, or does Merry still have a claim against them for jumping  Ceres?

3. Would you be more inclined to barter, trade, or employ the remaining one knowing that he worked extra so that Merry would not suffer a loss?

4. Does it matter if Merry is paid off for the two that are AWOL if the payment is said to be a "gift" rather than "repayment"?

5. If the remaining one pays off the other two's debt, does he automatically have a claim against the other two?

All questions are phrased in the sense of standard Ceres custom, rather than say US case law.

Azure Priest on October 22, 2010, 08:18:52 am
1.) Assuming the other two can find some method of leaving Ceres, as covered extensively in Wally's "Justice Agent" plot line, they would be out of Ceres' jurisdiction, making arbitration moot.

2.) If miscreant #1, pays the debt for #2 and #3, going by the precedent set here, Merry would have no case going against #2, or #3, but #1 sure would, but again, #2 and #3 are outside Ceres' jurisdiction and arbitration would be impossible unless they return.

3.) I would certainly trust #1 more than #2 or #3, but not more than any random Belter that I might meet.

4.) It doesn't matter how Merry is "paid off" as long as it's done in the name of #2 and #3, and the person paying has the right to spend that money, or gold. (It would be wrong for Merry to accept stolen funds for example.) If 2.) has already occurred, the payment would rightfully belong to miscreant #1.

5.) Automatically? No. If 2.) Has occurred, but not 4.), miscreant #1 could file claim(s) against #2, and #3 should he choose.

quadibloc on October 22, 2010, 09:05:43 am
What I can't understand is why the Guzman brothers so enthusiastically said "Works for us". While they can't prove that the three miscreants intended to leave them for dead, and thus were willing to waive that claim, presumably because they felt that having to pay off their debt would be penalty enough... I would think that they would still believe that to be quite likely. I know that I would take it personally if someone were willing to compass my death, but it could be that the Guzmans are much more optimistic and forgiving than I am.

Even so, I find it hard to believe that Merry could possibly be so annoying - even if it would be a good thing for her to learn a lesson - that they would really prefer to see her meet a bad fate than for those three to get what is coming to them.

Maybe it's because of my hoplophobic tendencies that I think that the safest place for anyone who has demonstrated a willingness to kill me in order to take my money is six feet under, and so I find it hard to understand the Guzmans, who are better men than I. Or maybe I'm forgetting that because this is a comic strip, sometimes it's played for laughs.

Apollo-Soyuz on October 22, 2010, 09:12:54 am
Quote from: Azure Priest
1.) Assuming the other two can find some method of leaving Ceres, as covered extensively in Wally's "Justice Agent" plot line, they would be out of Ceres' jurisdiction, making arbitration moot.

Well the original crime here occurred off of Ceres. so "jurisdiction" is a fuzzy term. I suppose you could convince an arbitration agent to "make house-calls"



Quote from: Azure Priest

2.) If miscreant #1, pays the debt for #2 and #3, going by the precedent set here, Merry would have no case going against #2, or #3, but #1 sure would, but again, #2 and #3 are outside Ceres' jurisdiction and arbitration would be impossible unless they return.

4.) It doesn't matter how Merry is "paid off" as long as it's done in the name of #2 and #3, and the person paying has the right to spend that money, or gold. (It would be wrong for Merry to accept stolen funds for example.) If 2.) has already occurred, the payment would rightfully belong to miscreant #1.


Ernie and Burt have settled, but if two of the 3 skip, and then a year later "wire money", are they in the clear? Or is there still damages due from "breach of contract" and "late payment"



Quote from: Azure Priest

3.) I would certainly trust #1 more than #2 or #3, but not more than any random Belter that I might meet.

I put this one here because even if you have paid for your crimes, you might find it impossible to earn money, or buy goods and services if your reputation is bad enough.

regarding 5), since skippers #1 & #2 never agreed to transfer the debt, I'd be inclined not to honor #3's claim against #1 & #2 unless he bought a contract. Since it's a  "gentleman's agreement", presumably no written contract will be made up. I'd find it tough to honor a "resold" verbal contract unless the reselling agreement was also somehow recorded.

Also I'd say since #1 and #2 breached their contract (recorded in court by that camera thing) they still own damages (to be determined, but I think bounty fee + breach of contract fee) to Merry, even if they payed off their original debt.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 09:27:32 am by Apollo-Soyuz »

Apollo-Soyuz on October 22, 2010, 09:21:19 am
What I can't understand is why the Guzman brothers so enthusiastically said "Works for us". While they can't prove that the three miscreants intended to leave them for dead, and thus were willing to waive that claim, presumably because they felt that having to pay off their debt would be penalty enough...

Well, I for one would have ordered Little Toot to vent atmosphere as fast as possible. Anything less and I'd be taking an unnecessary  gamble with my life for a chance to save someone who obviously doesn't care about my safety or property rights. I think I could live with that.

Of course, I've never "seen the elephant", and just might have mercy if I was in their pressure suits. Also, I live in a state where deadly force is never legal for merely thief, and furthermore I have a duty to retreat if possible.

happycrow on October 22, 2010, 09:30:50 am
@Quadlibloc and Apollo-Soyuz:

In my reading, the Guzman brothers are uncomfortable with the moral question it poses (note they've been brought up in a religious household as established VERY early in the original strip), and so having Merry guarantee their damages lets them simply get back on moving with life.  I know a lot of guys and gals who, given a choice between sweating bullets about whether they truly did "justice," and picking "compensate and move on," will pick the latter, every time.

In terms of the original questions:

1. Can merry put a bounty on the other two's head? Is a broken "gentleman's agreement" enforceable in arbitration?

I would guess that nobody would object to her hiring a manhunter to have them nabbed and summarily delivered to said pig farm.

2. Let's say that the remaining one not only pays off his debt, but as a gesture to be made publicly known also works to pay off the remaining two's debt. Are the two absolved completely, or does Merry still have a claim against them for jumping  Ceres?

Merry still has a claim on them.

3. Would you be more inclined to barter, trade, or employ the remaining one knowing that he worked extra so that Merry would not suffer a loss?

Yes, actually.  I've known a lot of young men who were total eff-ups, and am willing to give extra consideration to the rare ones who can admit it and consciously try to make right.  That deserves respect in my book.  Voluntarily working at a loss (or for nothing) in order to settle a debt demonstrates moral fiber (even if simply a misguided sense of loyalty to the jumpers), and would result in me being much more willing to give him the time of day than I would otherwise... which is about zero.

No to both four and five.

J Thomas on October 22, 2010, 09:41:15 am
What I can't understand is why the Guzman brothers so enthusiastically said "Works for us". While they can't prove that the three miscreants intended to leave them for dead, and thus were willing to waive that claim, presumably because they felt that having to pay off their debt would be penalty enough...

Well, I for one would have ordered Little Toot to vent atmosphere as fast as possible. Anything less and I'd be taking an unnecessary  gamble with my life for a chance to save someone who obviously doesn't care about my safety or property rights. I think I could live with that.

Of course, I've never "seen the elephant", and just might have mercy if I was in their pressure suits. Also, I live in a state where deadly force is never legal for merely thief, and furthermore I have a duty to retreat if possible.

It looks like it was an opportunistic crime. They saw an opportunity and took it. They perhaps wanted the masscon, which they would finish digging out and then go sell? Surely they didn't want the ship, it was known to belong to someone else and they should have known its AI would not work ideally for them.

But is that certain?

I would be a bit paranoid. "Try to avoid killing someone until you are sure you have no more questions they can answer."

Suppose it was opportunistic. If you give them a good deal, let them pay you back your own losses and hold no more grudge than that, are they likely to hold a grudge? Will they stalk you to try to kill you, when it appears you think it's over? Or will they continue to be opportunists? Anything you can recover from them is a plus compared to having to dispose of their corpses, and the risk does not seem large.

On the other hand if there's a pricy market for body parts, the economic question is different. But still I feel like it's better not to kill more people than necessary. If they look real dangerous, like for example there's a serious chance they'll take over the ship and kill you, then it might be safer to kill them while it's easy.

I'd be concerned for Merry, though. If she's so nice to them, one or more of them might get the impression she's doing it because she thinks they're hot. They don't seem particularly perceptive just yet, and might be slow to understand her concept of rape.

GaTor on October 22, 2010, 09:44:25 am
Paying off a debt is all well and good, however there is also the matter of protection of the citizenry.   Is Mary responsible for any crimes committed by these three if released into her custody?  The fact is the brothers were stranded and would have died if not for their own actions.  All the woulda, coulda shouda, don't mean crap.  This was attempted murder at the very least and these three are going to be set free?  Look I'm pretty much a libertarian but the bottom line is that there are BAD PEOPLE who will kill, rape, torture, steal, molest and otherwise endanger the public.   I'll grant you that our 'Terry" courts are far from perfect but one of the main reasons a penal system exists is to isolate these predators from the populace.  So what happens if these three decide to skip out on their debt, steal a spaceship and in the process of doing so kill the owners like they tried to do with the Guzmans?   Hell I understand everyone getting their say and that debts must be paid but IMO these bastids are dangerous.  
Go forth and do good.

Sio on October 22, 2010, 10:00:02 am
Merry won't HAVE to post a bounty on their heads, because they won't run.  If these bozos are "free as birds", the first thing they're gonna do is the STUPID thing and go after Bert and Ernie for "getting them in trouble with the Law".  They'll try to bust heads, and they'll wind up, perfectly honestly and above-board, at room temperature. Or lower.

Alternate theory is that SOME will run as soon as they clear the door of the courtroom.  They'll be off Ceres so fast they'll get cited in absentia for causing a major pressure drop in municipal cubic.  But at least one will stay to "get even" with the boys.  He'll end up as fertilizer in the city's processor, having pulled some kind of weapon on a public street to attack them, and get his fool brains removed via kinetic trephining.

If they ALL run, Merry won't learn a damn thing except that "these poor lads were just frightened of the barbaric practices of slavery and crude frontier justice here on Ceres, and rightly so!" and will continue to be a Terry-brained pain in the tuchis.

I think the Guzman boys enthusiastically said "Works for us!" because their society is all about civil liability, not revenge.  Once the books are balanced, they're happy.  It isn't about "rehabilitation", or "punishment", it's about paying for the damage done.  Once they're paid for the damage that's been done to them, they're happy as two fleas in a bottle of blood, and are more than pleased to walk away from the mess, having been made whole again.  They aren't after the pirates' scalps, they were after damages.  If they wanted the pirates dead, they could have just vented the brig cabin to space, or shot them when they tried to escape en route.  It doesn't matter to them if the damages come from the pirates working it off on a pig farm, or if someone else vouches for it and posts it for them -- in fact, they like it BETTER the latter way because the get it all up front, instead of in dribbles and drabbles as it's earned.  It's a better deal for them if Merry posts it as a lump, because they get their repairs paid for right NOW by someone else instead of having to front it themselves and get reimbursed over time.

Since the boys were raised in that culture, that's how they think automatically.  Their thought is "how do we pay for these damages to Lil Toot?"  Not "how do we teach these scumbags a lesson?"

quadibloc on October 22, 2010, 10:19:17 am
Hell I understand everyone getting their say and that debts must be paid but IMO these bastids are dangerous.
I think so too. But then I think there are surprises in store, because the people of Ceres (with the possible exception of Merry) aren't stupid.

I suppose it could be that Cereans are more tolerant than people here are of having people running around who think they're dangerous... because they're armed.

One possibility is that they will try to run, they will endanger others... but they will suffer the humiliation of being rounded up, not by five full-grown men, heavily armed... but just by one rather young man, the aspiring justice agent of the previous short story arc. That was such a short arc that we may not have seen the last of him.

Sio on October 22, 2010, 10:27:06 am
GaTor wrote:
Quote
 I'll grant you that our 'Terry" courts are far from perfect but one of the main reasons a penal system exists is to isolate these predators from the populace.

Our courts are not "Terry" courts.   "Terry" courts are courts on Terra in the universe of EFT.  Don't confuse modern-day U.S. or otherwise-Earthly courts with those of the comic universe. You'll break your brain and miss the point.  And for gossakes don't start taking the term "Terry" as an insult to you personally!  They're not talking about you, they're talking about fictional characters!  (Making Ben Affleck's  finger gestures from "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back")

GaTor on October 22, 2010, 10:54:15 am
Our courts are not "Terry" courts.
Au contraire Mon frere.  Terry referes to  "Terran" meaning Earth.  Yes EFT is a work of fiction, but it is an extrpolation based on our world and projected into the future.  A possible timeline of where we may be.   And, given the authors posts in this forum, if you think the writers are not basing EFT on our current politico-governmental state of affairs I think your greatly mistaken.  
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 10:55:49 am by GaTor »
Go forth and do good.

Azure Priest on October 22, 2010, 11:34:19 am
Our courts are not "Terry" courts.
Au contraire Mon frere.  Terry referes to  "Terran" meaning Earth.  Yes EFT is a work of fiction, but it is an extrpolation based on our world and projected into the future.  A possible timeline of where we may be.   And, given the authors posts in this forum, if you think the writers are not basing EFT on our current politico-governmental state of affairs I think your greatly mistaken.  

Especially the post where the authors say it's NOT based on the current world and any event that seems to be is purely accidental?

It doesn't matter if the miscreants bolt or not. Merry is a "know-it-all, bleeding heart liberal" type, and would trod all over everyone else to protect them, even if they do something bad to her.

Also Merry agreed to "eat the loss" so if they run, she's got no claim on them in any event.

happycrow on October 22, 2010, 12:33:14 pm
She a principled idealist who's willing to put her money where her mouth is.

I've got no problems with folks like that.... cynical bastids who aren't willing to actually walk the walk, otoh... but you're right: having publicly agreed to eat the loss, she has no claim -- and in some cultures has just communicated to them that they SHOULD run, because she's taking care of them.

Ensenadasailor on October 22, 2010, 12:58:56 pm
What I want to know is, why are all the men referred to as "Sov. So-and-So" while the woman lawyer is "Merry"?