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Friday, August 16, 2019

Microstory 1170: Jarrett Grier

Jarrett Grier was born into the Grier family curse, but it didn’t seem to impact him as much as it did for others. For one thing, he didn’t much care what other people thought of him, so their time-displaced animosity just rolled off his back. When he accidentally killed Annora Ubiña in the microponics bay of The Elizabeth Warren, and placed the whole ship into a state of panic, he knew it was over for him. Though he had access to another spatial dimension, he was still stuck on a vessel in outer space, and there was nowhere to run. He managed to stay hidden for years, but the crew eventually found him, and once the ship landed on Earth, they had to decide what to do with him. The adjudicative system on Earth had changed much since the last information his history teachers on his home planet of Durus had on the subject. No longer were accused judged by a randomly selected board of their peers, nor on the flipside, a bullshit selection of jurors, chosen by a team of experts who specialize in corrupting the process. Each of two arbitration panels consisted of three arbiters, drawn from the civilian pool, but were supplemented by two educated arbitrators, who fully understand how the law worked. Advocates and adherents worked together to find the truth, rather than fighting over technicalities, and were monitored by a highly trained adjudicator, who managed the ethics of all other parties. Each panel deliberated separately, so as to lessen personal bias, and to arrive at a more reliable consensus. These changes, according to scholars, drastically diminished unfair sentences, and dramatically quickened the process, but at the same time, it was becoming less and less relevant. Crime continued to decline over the years. Ubiquitous surveillance, sophisticated crime scene synthesis, and less ambiguous investigative procedures made for a safer world. Plus, there just weren’t as many justifications to commit crime anymore. Historically, there have been but a handful of reasons to kill, and the obsolescence of money has eradicated greedful murder. For other motives, it’s just too hard to get away with it anyway, so the judicial system wasn’t prepared for Jarrett. That, combined with the fact that the court proceedings would have exposed time travel to the greater vonearthan population, meant that trying him officially just was not possible. Traditionally, Beaver Haven Penitentiary was designated for people with time powers who risked such exposure, though certain exceptions had been made. Following his confession, and due to a lack of variety in sentencing, Jarrett was summarily sent to Beaver Haven without a trial. He died here of age-related illness, and nobody cared.

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