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> Judicial System, Just how does it work in the 6th world?
Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 04:08 PM
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In the BBB and other Canon references, a person's astral signature can be used as evidence in a court of law, how?

Are all the members of the jury able to perceive astrally?
Can the judge perceive astrally?
Would it be legal to allow anyone who can perceive astrally make use of that during a trial?
Just how does one register their signature with Lone Star in Seattle to obtain a permit for a force 4 heal spell?

To my knowledge astral signatures are not perceptable to technology, so there is no way to objectively display that information for all to see, which means almost any astral evidence would be useless, or contestable as conjecture, as it cannot be displayed to the average person (which is what is striven for in jury selection, at least that's what they are supposed to strive for).
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Buzzed
post Feb 27 2004, 04:58 PM
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The Jury doesn't have to perceive astrally. There are probably artist renderings of the astral signature made by two or more officially recognized astral perceiving people. (I'm assuming one hired by the defence and one hired by the prosecutor.)

Then they can show their renderings to allow all non-awakened in the court room to be able to observe the signature while various experts break it down and explain what it means.

Finally, a real use for magical artistic ability. :talker:

[EDIT] The hardcore renderers could use illusion spells to make a more realistic looking signature. However, the judge might not allow them inside the court room, which has protection against outside magical intrusion that might throw a case.[/EDIT]
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Fahr
post Feb 27 2004, 07:06 PM
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I think it might fall under jury of peers... in a case with magic as it's focus, it could be argued that the only peers would have to be magically active themselves...

-Mike R.
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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 07:14 PM
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But, awakened people only represent less than 1% of the populous. it would be hard to find 12 un-biased individuals. Remember, lawyers want someone they can manipulate in the courtroom, not just someone who doesn't outright hate their client.

the awakened are notoriously strong willed.
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Rev
post Feb 27 2004, 07:22 PM
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It would be through the use of expert witnesses. A police magician (or several) would have assensed the signature in question and the suspect then testify that they are the same.

Personally I don't think it should be possible to transmit knowledge of a signature except in general terms, meaning not enough to describe a fairly ordinary persons signature to another. Even if it was it would not matter in most cases because the astral signature of a spell or conjuration is gone long before the trial. For a bonded focus, anchored/quickened spell, controlled elemental kept alive until trial (maybe???), ward, etc more witnesses could be called to compare the signatures.
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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 07:23 PM
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The problem with professional witnesses in this case is that depending on how many successes the witness got in the assense test, they may come up with conflicting information. Then there is karma expenditure to buy off target successes, etc.
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nezumi
post Feb 27 2004, 07:26 PM
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I'd agree with Nikoli. It's simply not feasible for the courts to search around for such a group of people, and it's no more a valid argument than saying I, as a college educated man should be judged only by people with a college education. The judge, with very few exceptions, won't be magically active either. You might have magically active expert witnesses in high level cases, but I suspect that aura reading will be considered inadmissable for anything other than proof of identity. Even if one's aura suggest an emotional state, I don't think they'd accept it as evidence any more than they'd accept lie detector tests.
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Rev
post Feb 27 2004, 07:27 PM
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Witnesses, even expert witnesses, make mistakes today. It really isn't any different. Just a variety of eyewitness testimony.

It isn't hard to get a ton of dice for astral perception by the rules. 6 for intelligence, 6 complementary for aura reading (or 3 if you like to roll those the easy way), initiates get thier astral pool dice. Anyhow you don't need to be an ubermage to get 11 or so.

Maybe they (the forensics magicians) could design up a spell that preserves astral signatures?
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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 07:37 PM
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Again though, a good defense lawyer can say that there is no conclusive proof that what is shown is nothing more than illusion, meant to portray their client negatively.
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Rev
post Feb 27 2004, 07:40 PM
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Exactly as they do with witness testimony today.
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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 07:42 PM
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True, what I'm trrying to figure out is, how can there be a legal precedent for evidense that cannot be shown to any person objectively?
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Rev
post Feb 27 2004, 07:48 PM
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Yes. Eyewitness testimony.

Only the eyewitness saw whatever they are testifying about. Nobody else can see it. Thier testimony is the evidence. Quite often police officers are eyewitnesses, for example.

Psychological expert testimony is another example. The expert usually testifies as to thier opinion of some persons mental state based on interviews with that person.
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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 07:52 PM
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eye witness accounts are not the only evidence used usually and has the basis to be backed up with other evidence like photographs, recordings, other eye witnesses, and the nice thing about expert witness testimony is that any person can choose to learn that skill and perform their own assessment, but not just anyone can learn to perceive astrally.
I'm just feel that astral evidence should not be presented as the next DNA.
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Fahr
post Feb 27 2004, 07:53 PM
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testimoney doesn't have to be objective.

the evidence would be normal evidence, it would just be interpreted by a mage for either side...

ex:
scorched body armour.
modern forensice could tell what temperature, how long...
Magical forensics couls say approx force (maybe) astral sig is similar to this guy, or similar to the other peices of evidence.
Police Mage files report after incident describing astral sig, even if it is only in his own terms he can later be called as witness and positively ID the aura later.

defence can call it's own witnesses and cross examine.

no different than todays evidence and procedures.

-Mike R.

P.S. if there were a special court for purely magical crimes, I could see jury of peers being all magically active. even at 1% there would be a large enough population to get a jury in most major areas. and it would only be nessasary in purely magical crimes, (like mind probe charges) where the evidence is totally magical in nature.

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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 07:55 PM
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Good point, I had not thought of that. Of course, if the accused can initiate and change their magical sig in time, the prosecution is screwed.
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nezumi
post Feb 27 2004, 07:56 PM
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Let me rephrase my original statement...

I believe that they would accept the views of the investigators about how the person was feeling at the time of the crime, that works like eye witness accounts (and psychological profiling). However, they probably would NOT allow the admission of evidence in regards to the emotional state of the person while in the custody of the police gathered from assensing like that, for the same reason they don't admit lie detectors. I remember reading somewhere that mind probe isn't allowed, I'm not sure about spells like detect lie, but it seems like that's probably not admissable for questioning the suspect.
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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 07:57 PM
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No, but I could see a judge casting that spell before the case is called.
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Rev
post Feb 27 2004, 07:57 PM
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Lots of people are convicted on eyewitness testimony from one person alone. Some of them wrongly.

If you don't want it to be the next dna don't make it the next dna. Maybe make it the next psycological expert testimony. Perhaps many people don't have much faith in it so it rarely can stand alone. People refuse to beleive DNA evidence in court sometimes.

Besides Shadowrun is a dystopian future. If anything the idea that astral signature testimony is being used in court to falsly convict or exonerate suspects as corruption dictates fits the universe better than it being an accurate and reliable technique.
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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 07:58 PM
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Fair enough.

Now on to how a mage registers their spells...
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Fahr
post Feb 27 2004, 08:00 PM
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even that could be adressed by a smart prosecutor. all you have to do is establish that the perp at one time had that signature and that it is unique. so If I have evidence from his home that he has cast spells on (levitate on the remote) than I can establish that his sig. was at one time the same... not foolproof, so I bet this wouldn't be the primary evidence in a case, but it would be good evidence in addition to other evidence.

-Mike R.
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Fahr
post Feb 27 2004, 08:02 PM
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i figured they went down to the courthouse and filled out some massive paperwork, possibly cast it in front of a qualified examiner, than paid the fee and was registered...

-Mike R.

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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 08:03 PM
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hrm
So, what happens when that examiner dies?
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Herald of Verjig...
post Feb 27 2004, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (Nikoli)
Now on to how a mage registers their spells...

Permit on the SIN defined as: "Incendiary single target ranged spell of up to 6 thaums" for a force 6 flamethrower.
or: "Grade 3 reflexatory improving health spell of up to 4 thaums."

You don't have to prove that you can cast the spell to get a permit, but they will assume you can.
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Fahr
post Feb 27 2004, 08:07 PM
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the examiner is just there to verify the spell you claim to be casting has the desired effect, so you don't go in and get a heal 4 permit and then go around casting heal 6 claiming that it's heal 4, basically a check to make sure you really can cast the spell you are getting permitted for. to prevent fraud/fake permits.

edit;
admittadly this is my own way of dealing with it and not at all canon.

This post has been edited by Fahr: Feb 27 2004, 08:09 PM
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Nikoli
post Feb 27 2004, 08:09 PM
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Though why they would want to disallow someone to have a heal 6 is beyond me. even healing criminals means yuou have a better chance of them surviving till prosecution.
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