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blue-skyz
December 11th, 2007, 02:06 PM
What crimes could/should Sheppard be charged with?

The court martial needs to define the charges against Sheppard.

I just pulled some out of the thread to start with. I got bored after 6 pages.

Anybody and everybody can contribute your ideas of what Sheppard is guilty of.


The questions are:

Did Landry know about the assisted suicide or was he kept out of the loop?
Was there an assisted suicide?
Was there a murder of a prisoner?
Was there falsification on the official report filed by sheppard?
Was there Justification if there was?
Was Sheppard acting with in his sworn duty?


was there deception in the official report filing?
was Wallace's suicide suicide or murder?
was Wallace's death preventable?


I think what the court has to decide a few things:

1. was wallace competent enough to make that choice to give up his life or was he stressed to the point where he could not truly comprehend what allowing a wraith to feed on him would mean?

2. in such a case where a human life is required to keep an enemy with vital info alive...is it justifiable to alllow the suicide of another inmate or for matter any other person on that base?

3. is it justified to allow a man to kill himself while in custody of an armed force?

4. was there deception in the case? For example...why would Sheppard be giving a tour of the lab to a prisoner who has been charged with attempted murder and kidnapping?

5. did sheppard knowingly and willfully commit the crime of assisted suicide?

6. did sheppard knowingly and willingly premeditate the crime?

7. does assisted suicide accurately define the alleged crime?


Add to those:

Was Sheppard following orders? Or. Was he acting with the knowledge of his superiors?

How does being in a state of war change how military actions are perceived?

:D

Agent_Dark
December 11th, 2007, 02:10 PM
he should be charged with failing to adequetly pwn that noob thread :)

The_Carpenter
December 11th, 2007, 02:43 PM
Did Landry know about the assisted suicide or was he kept out of the loop?

Don't how he couldn't of been so IMO yes


Was there an assisted suicide?

Possibly, but without any idea of what went on behind closed doors (assuming no one in the room says anything contrary to Sheps report) other than Sheps report reasonable doubt says no.


Was there a murder of a prisoner?

See above


Was there falsification on the official report filed by sheppard?

Again maybe, but if no-one says anything to the contrary good luck proving it


Was there Justification if there was?

In my opinion yes there was. Someone vital to the expedition was going to sacrifice him self if this didn't happen (even if Jenny died then McKay would be in no fit state to deactivate the replicators/Asurans). It was evident someone had to die better Wallace than McKay or Jenny maybe cold but its the truth.


Was Sheppard acting with in his sworn duty?

What is his sworn duty? apologies I don't have time to read the court martial thread. However in the assumption that his duties include the defence of Atlantis and the well being of his team I would say yes.


was there deception in the official report filing?
was Wallace's suicide suicide or murder?

Already answered


was Wallace's death preventable?

Yes it was. But was preventing Wallace's death worth the cost to the Pegasus Galaxy and Earths future? IMO no



1. was wallace competent enough to make that choice to give up his life or was he stressed to the point where he could not truly comprehend what allowing a wraith to feed on him would mean?

Yes, he was competent enough to organise a highly effective kidnapping and effective poisoning of Jenny when facing his Daughters inevitable demise. So he strikes me as some one who would of been prepared for his daughters death and capable of making decisions. (Also as has been pointed out families are asked to sign Organ Donation forms very soon after losing a loved one, as these are legally binding there is no legal precedent for a defence in this case).


2. in such a case where a human life is required to keep an enemy with vital info alive...is it justifiable to alllow the suicide of another inmate or for matter any other person on that base?


If that death would lead to the survival of the party with vital information then yes. Remember in this case we are not talking about a few million lives we are talking about the billions that reside in Pegasus.


3. is it justified to allow a man to kill himself while in custody of an armed force?


Don't quite see how you would stop him, if someone wants to kill them selves they will find a way even if its starving them selves. Best make it as quick and painless as possible if it can't be a useful death.



4. was there deception in the case? For example...why would Sheppard be giving a tour of the lab to a prisoner who has been charged with attempted murder and kidnapping?

I can't really think of a reason. Other than Wallace wanting to apologise to McKay who was absent from the lab.


5. did sheppard knowingly and willfully commit the crime of assisted suicide?

Answered above but repeated for convenience

Possibly, but without any idea of what went on behind closed doors (assuming no one in the room says anything contrary to Sheps report) other than Sheps report reasonable doubt says no.


6. did sheppard knowingly and willingly premeditate the crime?

As above, but if he did assist in Suicide then I'd have to say yes



7. does assisted suicide accurately define the alleged crime?

As good as any in my mind.


Was Sheppard following orders? Or. Was he acting with the knowledge of his superiors?


Theres not enough evidence in the episode to determine this. But in my mind he acted with the knowledge of his superiors.


How does being in a state of war change how military actions are perceived?

That is a very good question. And depends very much on how desperate the situation is and what is at stake. In this case the future of Earth and the inhabitants of the Pegasus Galaxy is at stake, so I would say the means justify the ends others will certainly disagree which is good everyone needs someone to hold them back from the abyss.

To answer the question yes in my view being in a state of war of this level with these stakes does change things, we may not like to admit it in this day and age but when so much is at stake as is in this situation it is the only option.

BTW are there any roles left? I wouldn't mind taking one if they are still available by next Tuesday (18/12).

blue-skyz
December 11th, 2007, 04:51 PM
I am not Landry for the purposes of this discussion. (Court martial thread) ;)

Presumably, Sheppard was arrested on Atlantis. He would have written his report before he left the SGC.

So, if the report was written as he told McKay it would be, he has admitted some level of negligence. He probably shares this negligence with whoever was in charge of security on the SGC side, but for our purposes we will ignore him.

The SGC, Landry, probably, signed off on the report, sending it on to the IOA, O’Neill etc., where ever top secret reports of civilians being killed go. In signing off on the report and allowing Sheppard to return to Atlantis, Landry or whoever has effectively stated that he considers the negligence to be acceptable for the unusual conditions. This does not necessarily incriminate Landry (covering my ass here).

The IOA, Woolsey or someone else questioned the report.

It has been stated that the tape of Miller’s Crossing was sent to someone, the IOA or Woolsey, presumably, by some unknown person. This tape led to the questioning of the truth of the report.

All this is leading up to what I think Sheppard could reasonably be charged with.
Here are some possibilities:

* Negligence leading to the death of a civilian

* Assisting a suicide

* Related to the assisted suicide not the negligence:
-- Lying about why he was taking Wallace to the lab
-- Falsifying a report
-- Ordering those of a lower rank to lie about what they saw or what happened
-- Disabling security cameras in some way (since we have no video of the incident)

Note: I do not think that Sheppard’s speaking to Wallace to tell him that his daughter had died and the situation involving Jeannie’s health can be construed as criminal. I also think that Wallace was rational at the time.

If Wallace was not rational at the time, it would be very hard to prove that Sheppard could discern that and use it to his advantage. (Upset or grieving does not equate to mentally incompetent)

Then there is always the possibility that Sheppard had Wallace forcibly taken to the Wraith, hence murder. :S (Not the Sheppard we know and love ;) ) The inadmissible ;) conversation between Sheppard and McKay in Sheppard’s quarters would tend to disprove this allegation. It would also be much harder to cover up.

Justification is also an issue related to assisted suicide, but not part of the charges, per se.

This does not address any charges that could be brought against Landry as a result of the outcome of the court martial. :D

expendable_crewman
December 12th, 2007, 02:35 PM
There are two ways to answer this, I think.

1) This is a thread related to the court martial thread, so Sheppard is already in deep trouble and the shoe has dropped.

The other way is 2) looking at the picture as though we don't have to make up charges if we don't see any, then the question is: What has he actually done?

Number 2 is easier than number 1 for me but that's because I haven't been following the flow of the CM thread to the point that I understand how Sheppard ended up in trouble, meaning the process of pinching him has eluded me.

For number 2, just helping someone commit suicide is a crime. Most everyone will agree with that.

The trouble here is we get presented with dramatic scenarios every week. And on occasion, to be honest, a person simply fails to do everything he or she can to stop someone from going forward with a suicidal act. Writers like to use this tact to establish jeopardy for characters.

Examples.

* Rodney, Lorne, Ronon, and Beckett let Sheppard suit up and get inside a rocket that was inside a moon and had no fuel. The moon is in a decaying orbit and there's a perfectly fine working Jumper on stand-by. Duh. But ... Sheppard was facing losing a team member and understandably upset. He'd been injured in the explosion early in the ep, deprived of oxygen, etc., but he looked okay, he talked okay, he spoke in complete sentences, just like Wallace. Rodney, Lorne, Ronon, and Beckett allowed him to choose not to get into the Jumper, all the while believing Sheppard was choosing to die. Rodney even asks him if he has last words.

* An injured SGC team member decides it's his job to stay behind and release a weapon that will kill him (and the enemy in pursuit) and SG-1 lets him. Is an injured man any more or less capable of deciding to live or die than a sad man? What's his oxygen level? He looked a little pale to me. Were all his brain cells firing evenly? Is it okay for healthy team members to leave behind a wounded one (even when the wounded one says, Leave me!) in order to escape a dangerous situation?

Some put emphasis on Wallace's status as a civilian, which usually prompts the posters in the other camp to make a laundry list of Wallace's crimes in order to show Wallace could and did grasp the stakes as well as a volunteer combatant. Combatants don't sign up to die, btw. Signing on the dotted line is not the same thing as saying, "I'll stay behind" or "Take me to the Wraith." Combatants join the military to serve. A reasonable expectation of jeopardy (before, let's say, heading out to work that day) for the people in the above scenarios doesn't work as a mitigating factor unless one agrees that committing multiple felonies (Wallace) against people involved in a top secret government project carries a similar and equally reasonable expectation of jeopardy.

I could argue that taking a researcher on a top secret government project by force is inherently more dangerous that Stargate travel. But that's me.

So for number 2, standing aside and letting someone who made a choice to die, die is not a crime on this show. It's not even rare. It's rough, though. Most of us are not rocket pilots, commanding officers, and warriors. Those folks are harder to identify with, and we know *they* know their jobs are dangerous. On the other hand, Wallace was written to feel more like us, like the everyday person, worse, like a poor sad every day person, the kind of person (like us) that we want Sheppard to protect. And he didn't.

I don't think he can (or should) be court-martialed for that, although human history is full of people who have offended sensibilities more than they offended the penal code and they were made to pay for it dearly. I don't think Sheppard can be court-martialed for an act he was given approval to conduct, although that has happened when a peson's superior leaves them out in the cold. Landry is not that sort of superior. I don't think Landry would leave anyone twitching in the wind.

I do apologize for only being able to handle my number 2 question.

I do agree that for the most part the CM thread is for fun and chuckles. For the most part.

ReganX
December 12th, 2007, 04:19 PM
In my opinion yes there was. Someone vital to the expedition was going to sacrifice him self if this didn't happen

Voluntarily?


Don't quite see how you would stop him, if someone wants to kill them selves they will find a way even if its starving them selves. Best make it as quick and painless as possible if it can't be a useful death.


How did Wallace find out about the need for a Wraith to feed, or what that feeding would entail?
Did Sheppard tell him? If so, was it his intention or his hope that Wallace would choose to sacrifice himself?
If that was not his intention, why did he tell him about it in the first place?
Was Wallace put under any pressure (physical, psychological or emotional) to offer himself as a sacrifice?

blue-skyz
December 13th, 2007, 11:55 AM
How did Wallace find out about the need for a Wraith to feed, or what that feeding would entail?
Did Sheppard tell him? If so, was it his intention or his hope that Wallace would choose to sacrifice himself?
If that was not his intention, why did he tell him about it in the first place?
Was Wallace put under any pressure (physical, psychological or emotional) to offer himself as a sacrifice?

Sheppard told Wallace the specifics of the situation. It’s right there on the video tape.

On the tape there is no blatant attempt to convince or pressure Wallace into anything, just a calm telling of the facts. Since the conversation stops on the tape, we must assume that that was the end of the conversation.

For my part, I think, it was ‘his intention or his hope that Wallace would choose to sacrifice himself.’ This is not a crime. Some version of what happens may be, but not the conversation we see on tape.

Wallace was under the pressure of knowing that an innocent woman, a mother, was going to die because of him, by his hand, and he would be guilty of first degree murder when she did. Wallace was basically a good man. He chose to save his victim. The psychological and emotional pressure that he was under was of his own making, from his own guilt. Sheppard could not have provoked that reaction in someone that was not overwhelmingly remorseful.

And, IMO, there is no possibility of physical force being used to get Wallace to the Wraith.

The intention here is interesting, but the actual crime, if one exists, centers around Wallace’s death and what happened between the end of Sheppard’s conversation with Wallace and McKay’s entering the lab.

1. How did Wallace get to the lab?
2. What were the guards told? Who has authority over the SGC guards?
3. Who released the Wraith or was it made to appear that he broke free?
4. Did Sheppard conspire with the Wraith? Are there witnesses?
5. How did Sheppard control the situation so that the Wraith was not killed when he started to feed?
6. Where is the security camera footage of the incident?

And:
*How did Sheppard not get into immediate trouble for what he did?*

The last one is the most interesting.

We really need specific crimes for a court martial.
It would be better to have some kind of hearing first to try to reconstruct what happened and interpret what is seen on the tape. Each of the principles should be interviewed (deposed or just informally questioned) in a fact finding hearing.

In proper terms there should be an Article 32 hearing validate the charges.
The Wiki description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_32_hearing

bluealien
December 13th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Sheppard told Wallace the specifics of the situation. It’s right there on the video tape.

On the tape there is no blatant attempt to convince or pressure Wallace into anything, just a calm telling of the facts. Since the conversation stops on the tape, we must assume that that was the end of the conversation.
Sheppards entire purpose was to get Wallace to kill himself. Do you think if Rodney hadn't volunteered to be Wraith fodder that Sheppard would be presenting those facts in the same way. He wanted to convince Wallace to take Rodney's place. Why else did he present the facts the way he did, showing pictures of Jeannies family. Why did Wallace need to see pictures of Jeannies family unless it was to put undue pressure on him to do "the right" thing, which in this case was to offer himself up as wraith fodder to save Rodneys life. Presenting those pictures was a blatent attempt to put pressure on Wallace. Emotional persuasion is just as effective as physical especially in the state of mind that Wallace was in, and I will argue that Wallace would have been in a heightened emotional state as he had just been told of his daughters death. This is NOT the same state of mind he was in when he arranged the kidnapping, or when he injected Jeannie with the Nanites. These previous actions had been done in desparation to save his daughters life, but now he had just been told she was dead, and I doubt anyone would be in a completely rational state of mind immediately after being told of the death of a loved one, especially your child.




For my part, I think, it was ‘his intention or his hope that Wallace would choose to sacrifice himself.’ This is not a crime. Some version of what happens may be, but not the conversation we see on tape.
By law it will be difficult to prove the intent behind Sheppards actions and that is the crux of the matter. But whichever way we want to spin this Sheppard wanted Wallace to die and presented the options with that in mind. He knew exactly which buttons to push as he knew that Wallace wasn't a hardened criminal so he laid on the guilt and it worked. So bottom line Sheppard succeeded in what he wanted to accomplish and therefore he is guilty of aiding and abetting a suicide, that alone is a criminal action. But most likely his superiors will turn a blind eye, which looks like they already have done. Sheppard solved a problem for them in a way, and there is no way they would want anything like this made public or even brought to military trial. I'm sure they want as little people as possible, including the military, knowing about life sucking aliens.


]Wallace was under the pressure of knowing that an innocent woman, a mother, was going to die because of him, by his hand, and he would be guilty of first degree murder when she did. Wallace was basically a good man. He chose to save his victim.
Well that is what Sheppard wanted him to believe. But who knows really what would have happened.. Maybe the Wraith could have mustered up enough energy to finish those last few minutes, it did only take him minutes to achieve this anyway. Maybe Rodney could have come up with a solution, he has done so on numerous occasion in the past when the team or Atlantis were in danger. But we will never know, because Sheppard piled on the worst case scenario... He had to in order to get Wallace to do what he wanted. He had to act quickly if he was to be sure of saving Rodney,the same way Wallace had tried to act quickly knowing his daughter had very little time left. Both men were pushed to do desparate things in order to save those they loved. Sheppards actions here were Personal.. They were to save his friend. The fate of the Pegasus Galaxy did not come into it, otherwise Sheppard would have been considering ways of feeding the Wraith before, especially when millions of lives seemed to suddenly depend on this Wraith. Where was the urgency before to get the Wraith to help or even to think about feeding him. So again I don't think the fate of the PG galaxy played a part in Shep's decison. It was purely to save a friend and someone who meant a lot to him and was part of his "family".


The psychological and emotional pressure that he was under was of his own making, from his own guilt. Sheppard could not have provoked that reaction in someone that was not overwhelmingly remorseful.

The psychological pressure he was under was due to the fact that his daughter was dying and he had taken desparate measures to try and prevent this. He had admitted that he never wanted anyone hurt, he just wanted to save his daughter and yes he was remorseful. But Sheppard played on that remorse seconds after he told him his daughter had died..


And, IMO, there is no possibility of physical force being used to get Wallace to the Wraith.
You don't know that. You are assuming that Sheppard wouldnt go that far. But we don't know. I never thought he would go as far as talking someone into kiling themself. But either way, Sheppard didnt have to lay a finger on Wallace to get him to do what he wanted him to do. So the fact that he may not have used any physical force doesn't make what he did any less wrong. Pyschological force can be just as effective. The mind can be a very powerful thing and Sheppard played mind games with Wallace.


The intention here is interesting, but the actual crime, if one exists, centers around Wallace’s death and what happened between the end of Sheppard’s conversation with Wallace and McKay’s entering the lab.

The intent was there from the very first moment Sheppard spoke to Wallace so therefore a crime was committed. But proving that intent is another matter.


1. How did Wallace get to the lab?
2. What were the guards told? Who has authority over the SGC guards?
3. Who released the Wraith or was it made to appear that he broke free?
4. Did Sheppard conspire with the Wraith? Are there witnesses?
5. How did Sheppard control the situation so that the Wraith was not killed when he started to feed?
6. Where is the security camera footage of the incident?

We will never know the answers to the above as the writers want us to fill in the blanks ourselves and each person will probably come up with a different version, and a different scenario.


And:
*How did Sheppard not get into immediate trouble for what he did?*

Again impossible to say because no one but Sheppard was seen making the decisions, and again I think the writers have left us to make up our own minds on that as well. I'm going to assume here though that Sheppard acted alone as I cannot see Landry or anyone else in the SGC giving Sheppard the go ahead to feed someone to a Wraith. But I don't know how that explains the marines standing in the room especially with Sheppard addmiting openingly that he was going to falsify the report. If he had the backing of the SGC why falsify anything. Wouldn't that put Landry and other higher ups in a pretty bad light if there was an investigation. It's quite possible a Kavanaugh type person could be lurking around, and leaking something like this to the public could have huge reprecussions on the SGC.



We really need specific crimes for a court martial.

Aiding and abetting a prisoner in a suicide attempt. Not keeping the prisoner under guard and allowing him to roam free into dangerous and classified areas.

blue-skyz
December 13th, 2007, 05:45 PM
Sheppards entire purpose was to get Wallace to kill himself. Do you think if Rodney hadn't volunteered to be Wraith fodder that Sheppard would be presenting those facts in the same way. He wanted to convince Wallace to take Rodney's place. Why else did he present the facts the way he did, showing pictures of Jeannies family.
As I said, I believe that was his intent.

Why did Wallace need to see pictures of Jeannies family unless it was to put undue pressure on him to do "the right" thing, which in this case was to offer himself up as wraith fodder to save Rodneys life. Presenting those pictures was a blatent attempt to put pressure on Wallace.
Pressure is too strong a word for what Sheppard did. He told him the facts. Buried in those facts was a possible solution, a way for Jeannie not to die. Wallace will be guilty of Jeannie’s murder when she dies. He will be guilty of destroying her family. No matter why he injected her with the nanites, it was premeditated and he was rational at the time.

Emotional persuasion is just as effective as physical especially in the state of mind that Wallace was in, and I will argue that Wallace would have been in a heightened emotional state as he had just been told of his daughters death. This is NOT the same state of mind he was in when he arranged the kidnapping, or when he injected Jeannie with the Nanites. These previous actions had been done in desparation to save his daughters life, but now he had just been told she was dead, and I doubt anyone would be in a completely rational state of mind immediately after being told of the death of a loved one, especially your child.
His daughter’s death was not unexpected. Her brain had been reset and nanites were still ‘fixing’ her. But he had all kinds of reasons to be upset. He was about to become a murderer. He was guilty of espionage and he was being held in one of the most secure places on Earth. Has to make one wonder what they might do to you for stealing their secrets.

I believe he was quite capable of seeing the big picture.

By law it will be difficult to prove the intent behind Sheppards actions and that is the crux of the matter. But whichever way we want to spin this Sheppard wanted Wallace to die and presented the options with that in mind. He knew exactly which buttons to push as he knew that Wallace wasn't a hardened criminal so he laid on the guilt and it worked.
As I said, I agree that Sheppard knew what he was doing and did it very well when he spoke to Wallace. But what he said to him is in no way criminal. If a person commits suicide because someone has told him that he is worthless, the person making the value judgment is not guilty of causing the suicide. (They ought to feel pretty bad about it, though.)

So bottom line Sheppard succeeded in what he wanted to accomplish and therefore he is guilty of aiding and abetting a suicide, that alone is a criminal action.
You are mixing the conversation with the action. They need to be considered individually.

But most likely his superiors will turn a blind eye, which looks like they already have done. Sheppard solved a problem for them in a way, and there is no way they would want anything like this made public or even brought to military trial. I'm sure they want as little people as possible, including the military, knowing about life sucking aliens.
Sheppard went back to Atlantis. That proves to me that he has his superior’s approval before of after the fact. I believe it was before, because I do not believe Sheppard could have done it alone or he could not have been sure the Wraith would not have been killed if he had tried it alone. I believe it could not have been after the fact because Landry would have hung him out to dry. See the ‘Did Sheppard act with permission of the SGC?’ thread.

I agree, Sheppard never would be court martialed in public. But he would be punished.

Well that is what Sheppard wanted him to believe. But who knows really what would have happened.. Maybe the Wraith could have mustered up enough energy to finish those last few minutes, it did only take him minutes to achieve this anyway.
It took long enough to get two guys, a gurney, and a body bag into the lab and a body into the body bag. There would have been no hurry.

Maybe Rodney could have come up with a solution, he has done so on numerous occasion in the past when the team or Atlantis were in danger. But we will never know, because Sheppard piled on the worst case scenario... He had to in order to get Wallace to do what he wanted. He had to act quickly if he was to be sure of saving Rodney,the same way Wallace had tried to act quickly knowing his daughter had very little time left. Both men were pushed to do desparate things in order to save those they loved.
They both were desperate. Sheppard was desperate because Wallace chose to inject Jeannie with nanites that he already knew were dangerous.

Sheppards actions here were Personal.. They were to save his friend. The fate of the Pegasus Galaxy did not come into it, otherwise Sheppard would have been considering ways of feeding the Wraith before, especially when millions of lives seemed to suddenly depend on this Wraith.
We don’t know what Sheppard was considering before Wallace kidnapped Jeannie. He may have been about to step through the gate on a hunt for a Wraith. He may have been out on Wraith hunts before and not caught any. He may have been worried sick about it. We don’t know. When Wallace kidnapped Jeannie everything else was put on hold. The Wraith was brought to Earth because of Wallace’s actions and he collapsed on Earth.

Where was the urgency before to get the Wraith to help or even to think about feeding him. So again I don't think the fate of the PG galaxy played a part in Shep's decison. It was purely to save a friend and someone who meant a lot to him and was part of his "family".
The Wraith was helping. He was helping with the replicator code not the nanite code.

The psychological pressure he was under was due to the fact that his daughter was dying and he had taken desparate measures to try and prevent this. He had admitted that he never wanted anyone hurt, he just wanted to save his daughter and yes he was remorseful. But Sheppard played on that remorse seconds after he told him his daughter had died.
Wallace was the one responsible for everything that had happened and for everyone being where they were. Better him than McKay or Jeannie or Sheppard.

You don't know that. You are assuming that Sheppard wouldnt go that far. But we don't know. I never thought he would go as far as talking someone into kiling themself. But either way, Sheppard didnt have to lay a finger on Wallace to get him to do what he wanted him to do. So the fact that he may not have used any physical force doesn't make what he did any less wrong. Pyschological force can be just as effective. The mind can be a very powerful thing and Sheppard played mind games with Wallace.
Yes he did. I thought they did a good job of showing the effect that had on Sheppard. And as morally ambiguous as that may be, it is not criminal.

The intent was there from the very first moment Sheppard spoke to Wallace so therefore a crime was committed. But proving that intent is another matter.
Again, the intent is not a crime.

We will never know the answers to the above as the writers want us to fill in the blanks ourselves and each person will probably come up with a different version, and a different scenario.
For the court martial thread to work effectively, the answers to questions like these need to be addressed. It will be speculation, certainly, but in thinking through/discussing the possible scenarios we may be able to shed some light on which make the most sense. Each person will still have their own opinion about what happened, but we should be able to gain some insight into how others perceive the circumstances.

Again impossible to say because no one but Sheppard was seen making the decisions, and again I think the writers have left us to make up our own minds on that as well. I'm going to assume here though that Sheppard acted alone as I cannot see Landry or anyone else in the SGC giving Sheppard the go ahead to feed someone to a Wraith. But I don't know how that explains the marines standing in the room especially with Sheppard addmiting openingly that he was going to falsify the report. If he had the backing of the SGC why falsify anything. Wouldn't that put Landry and other higher ups in a pretty bad light if there was an investigation. It's quite possible a Kavanaugh type person could be lurking around, and leaking something like this to the public could have huge reprecussions on the SGC.
I do believe that Landry gave Sheppard the authority to allow Wallace to sacrifice himself. Not a nice thing to think about no matter who is aware of it beforehand. The false report (which must have been okayed/signed by Landry before Sheppard returned to Atlantis) was for the IOA and whoever else would see the report outside the SGC. It was falsified for the same reason we have seen Woolsey falsify reports: it cuts down on the controversy; the questions from people who don’t have the complete picture.


Aiding and abetting a prisoner in a suicide attempt.

Bingo! This is the criminal act, if it can be proven. Not the conversation, but the walk with Wallace into the lab and the facilitation of the feeding process. The conversation is meaningless. The intent is in the act.


Not keeping the prisoner under guard and allowing him to roam free into dangerous and classified areas.
Sheppard would have been giving Wallace a tour of the lab in hopes of convincing him to help them with the nanites. We know that Wallace couldn’t help, but he could have told Sheppard that he might be able to and Sheppard could say he believed him, outside the SGC, it would be credible. Some version of this argument would work.

Sheppard would not have been responsible for guarding Wallace. The NID would have brought Wallace there. The NID or, more likely, the SGC would be guarding him. Sheppard did not keep him safe in the lab, but Wallace was never wondering the halls.

AncientThor
December 13th, 2007, 07:05 PM
John Sheppard Can't be court martial because the StarGate Program is Highly Classified. If he was Court Martialed it would be in public records under the Freedom of Information Act. Only a feel members of congress know of the StarGate Program, Joint Cheifs of Staff, President. And Few other countries. And Few Civilians. Beside it Was Wallace Choice he Would have gone to Prison for 2 counts of kidnapping, 1 Count of Murder, 1 Attempted Murder (Rodney McKay's Sister), And don't forget Using experimential treatment without promise of his daughter. Maybe he know it would be jail for a long time. So he let the Wrait take his life force. John just let him know all the options and the situation, what is at stake.:sheppard:

ReganX
December 15th, 2007, 08:48 AM
John Sheppard Can't be court martial because the StarGate Program is Highly Classified. If he was Court Martialed it would be in public records under the Freedom of Information Act. Only a feel members of congress know of the StarGate Program, Joint Cheifs of Staff, President. And Few other countries. And Few Civilians.

Secret or not, there is still accountability - remember Makepeace and his friends? I doubt very much that there are any public records of them being sentenced, but they still were. If anyone working at the SGC or on Atlantis was found to be guilty of a crime, they would still have to pay the price, just secretly.


Beside it Was Wallace Choice he Would have gone to Prison for 2 counts of kidnapping, 1 Count of Murder, 1 Attempted Murder (Rodney McKay's Sister), And don't forget Using experimential treatment without promise of his daughter. Maybe he know it would be jail for a long time. So he let the Wrait take his life force.

I'm not a US citizen, and Ireland has thankfully abolished the death penalty but I'm pretty sure that a distinction is made between the death penalty and life imprisonment, with the former being the more severe penalty, am I correct?

In any case, Wallace had not been tried, convicted or sentenced for any crime but even if somebody is sentenced to the death penalty, or to life imprisonment, it would still be murder if somebody (besides the designated executioner, at the designated time and place, in the former case) killed them.

Even if Wallace's crimes merited the death penalty, and he had been duly sentenced, it would still be a crime for the Wraith to kill him, or for him to be in any way manipulated or pressured into allowing himself to be killed.


John just let him know all the options and the situation, what is at stake.:sheppard:

Wow, I hope the defence don't try to make that case. The above sentence alone would indicate that Sheppard was willing to allow a civilian to be fed upon by the wraith, and that he used pressure to gain his cooperation.

ReganX
December 15th, 2007, 09:19 AM
Sheppard told Wallace the specifics of the situation. It’s right there on the video tape.

On the tape there is no blatant attempt to convince or pressure Wallace into anything, just a calm telling of the facts. Since the conversation stops on the tape, we must assume that that was the end of the conversation.

It's the "why" part that would trouble me. Why tell Wallace about the Wraith in the first place, why let him know that the Wraith needed to feed?

If Wallace was in the custody of the SGC, then they had a responsibility to safeguard his welfare, which would include preventing him from harming himself and protecting him from being harmed by someone else.

Fact: Wallace was fed upon by the Wraith.

Possibility 1: Wallace allowed himself to be fed upon by the Wraith.
Questions: Was Sheppard aware that he was going to do this? Why was Wallace in the lab with the Wraith? Once it became clear what Wallace's intentions were, was any attempt made to stop him or to stop the Wraith? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent Wallace from being fed upon by the Wraith? If not, why was it not done?

Possibility 2: The Wraith broke free and fed on Wallace.
Questions: Why was Wallace in the lab with the Wraith? How did the Wraith break free? Why was he not securely restrained to prevent him feeding on a human? What kind of security presence was in the lab at the time of the incident? What did they do to stop the the Wraith when he began to feed? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent Wallace from being fed upon by the Wraith? If not, why was it not done?

Either possibility would mean that a strong case could be made for negligence.


Wallace was under the pressure of knowing that an innocent woman, a mother, was going to die because of him, by his hand, and he would be guilty of first degree murder when she did. Wallace was basically a good man. He chose to save his victim. The psychological and emotional pressure that he was under was of his own making, from his own guilt.

Question on US law for clarification; if, hypothetically speaking, a person stabs somebody, injuring them so badly that they need a major organ transplant to recover, regrets his or her actions and wants to make amends, can a doctor remove the organ from the stabber and transplant it into their victim, when it will mean the death of the former?

expendable_crewman
December 16th, 2007, 08:43 AM
If Wallace was in the custody of the SGC, then they had a responsibility to safeguard his welfare, which would include preventing him from harming himself and protecting him from being harmed by someone else.

That is the crux. We're applying RL values here and that's not necessarily a bad thing, because that's how we're going to react to the show.

In RL, a person in custody becomes the responsibility of his or her jailers. This "responsibility" thing isn't absolute, though.

I've read of in-custody suicides and homicides in police departments getting serious scrutiny by the public and oversight, whereas in prison, I think suicides are considered as having been been chosen by the person who killed himself, and responsibility in homicides go to the person who killed the victim.

Since I did not see anything in the ep that makes me believe Sheppard acted outside the SGC's knowledge, and I believe Wallace volunteered, I'd like to propose a scenario.

Let's say this happens on a Pegasus planet M0X-000. Same players, Wallace has Jeannie and Rodney in an alien bunker against their will ... there's a rescue by Sheppard and the team ... Wallace is captured, no longer in control ... but now the Bola Kai have come through the Stargate and taken control of the DHD.

During her captivity, Jeannie was injured. Now she is dying and needs to get to Atlantis for immediate treatment.

Taking the Stargate by force or making a rush for it is a bad choice because Jeannie can't run-- she was injured by Wallace's actions, plus she's never fired a P90 or a 9mm. She's more of a civilian than Wallace. She's the poster child for civilian, and 100% the victim, as she was in MC.

If they try to run, Jeannie will be the slowest person and so will the person who is charged to help carry her. They're dead, in other words. If the whole group moves at Jeannie's speed, the whole group is dead.

The Bola Kai say they'll let all but one person go through the Stargate. The Bola Kai don't want to fight. They've seen the team and their weapons in action. They know they, the Bola Kai, will win, but a lot of them will die in the process. The reason they haven't given up yet is they are starving.

They are cannibals and will eat the person who stays behind.

Choice A: Rodney volunteers and is restrained, after which Wallace volunteers to stay behind. Rodney is motivated by love for his sister, Wallace by guilt. Wallace is the stabber in ReganX's (see below) scenario. Jeannie needs immediate medical attention and she can't make a mad dash for the Stargate, and it's Wallace's fault she's injured. Therefore it's his fault the people who want to save Jeannie can't wait around (the safe choice) for a rescue by Atlantis when they miss their check-in.

Wallace is not restrained. No one blocks the exit. Ronon stands aside, Sheppard stands aside, and Rodney stands aside. In choice A, Wallace is allowed to go to the Bola Kai and he dies horribly.

Choice B: Rodney volunteers and is forcibly restrained, after which Wallace volunteers and the team restrains him, too, from acting on his choice. Then they hold Jeannie's hand while she dies, after which they either make a successful dash for the Stargate or wait for back-up.

In choice B, the clean choice, by the way, Jeannie dies of injury inflicted by Wallace.

Choice C: They restrain everybody successfully, there are no suicides, and they decide to make a dash for the Stargate. Jeannie dies horribly, and the person carrying her dies horribly. Wallace makes it back to Atlantis, where he promptly joins Sora the knife-wielding Genii lady in some abyss in the bowels of the city.

As far as I'm concerned, if any of the above choices is written well, I'd watch.

In choice A, though, removing the SGC from the scenario takes the edge off Sheppard, so it's less compelling than the actual ep, and since I've seen it before in sci-fi and regular TV, it's nothing uusual, just another hour of TV.


Fact: Wallace was fed upon by the Wraith.

Agreed.


Possibility 1: Wallace allowed himself to be fed upon by the Wraith.
Questions: Was Sheppard aware that he was going to do this? Why was Wallace in the lab with the Wraith? Once it became clear what Wallace's intentions were, was any attempt made to stop him or to stop the Wraith?

Wallace allowed himself to be fed upon and Sheppard did nothing to stop it. That is the story as I understand it.

There was no attempt to stop Wallace. In fact, the lab with the Wraith is not the place Sheppard used to talk to Wallace, meaning Sheppard had to escort Wallace to the Wraith. The two of them, and probably security, walked down one or more hallways to a room in which Wallace was to die by being fed upon.


... was any attempt made to stop him or to stop the Wraith? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent Wallace from being fed upon by the Wraith? If not, why was it not done?

The death of Wallace could have been prevented by keeping him in his locked room or anywhere at the SGC besides unprotected in a room with a Wraith.

I also believe the Wraith knew better than to attack a human without permission, even after he was weak from starvation. As long as he was alive, he was alive. If the Wraith had pounced on a human, any human, without permission, it would be reasonable to assume Sheppard would have killed the Wraith to stop him or killed the Wraith while trying to stop him.


Possibility 2: The Wraith broke free and fed on Wallace.

Doesn't work for me.


Question on US law for clarification; if, hypothetically speaking, a person stabs somebody, injuring them so badly that they need a major organ transplant to recover, regrets his or her actions and wants to make amends, can a doctor remove the organ from the stabber and transplant it into their victim, when it will mean the death of the former?

The doctor is commanded by his or her oath to "do no harm." The doctor cannot take the life of a patient, even when the patient is an admitted killer and the patient's victim (another patient) will live.

A more likely scenario (and one I've seen with many variations in dramatic films and television) is the stabber kills himself in or near the hospital, so the body will be found right away. Before killing himself, he leaves behind instructions to use his organ(s) to save his victim. The doctor receives the instructions in a timely manner, the suicided stabber is rushed to the surgical suite, and there is a (bittersweet) happy ending and a toast to the (belated) integrity of the stabber.

expendable_crewman
December 16th, 2007, 09:25 AM
John Sheppard Can't be court martial because the StarGate Program is Highly Classified. If he was Court Martialed it would be in public records under the Freedom of Information Act. Only a feel members of congress know of the StarGate Program, Joint Cheifs of Staff, President. And Few other countries. And Few Civilians.

Secret or not, there is still accountability - remember Makepeace and his friends? I doubt very much that there are any public records of them being sentenced, but they still were. If anyone working at the SGC or on Atlantis was found to be guilty of a crime, they would still have to pay the price, just secretly.

I think AncientThor's point is accountability would not get assessed through court-martial. Court-martial is the public way of trying a defendant using facts to decide responsibility and punishment.

To use a court-martial in the case shown in MC would be the equivalent of exposing the Stargate program to the general public.

We saw Oliver North face court-martial, but only after the case was torpedoed wide open and framed on CNN.

In fact, Oliver North wouldn't have seen a court if the events weren't torpedoed wide open and thrown under a spotlight by the public.

We have secret military tribunals active in RL today. In the fictional Stargate bubble, that would be the way to go, or something close to it, not a court-martial.

And if all the players in the tribunal were cleared to know about Stargate, then they'd all know Sheppard acted with the knowledge of his superiors, so we're back to square one.


In any case, Wallace had not been tried, convicted or sentenced for any crime but even if somebody is sentenced to the death penalty, or to life imprisonment, it would still be murder if somebody (besides the designated executioner, at the designated time and place, in the former case) killed them.

For me, what happened to Wallace was not punishment for his crimes. I didn't see him getting a pitch off a roof by an official who was pissed at his crimes, and who should have (instead) hauled him down to jail for booking.

Wallace got a chance to make a choice and made it. I understand the argument that it would have been nobler for Sheppard to leave him alone, let the SGC shove him into that lonely dark cell one day for the rest of his life.

I have a large piece inside of me that wants to agree.

If Sheppard had done that, Wallace, who was not yet a murderer, would have become one, and Jeannie would have died.

Better for Sheppard if he'd done nothing. It was not noble for Sheppard to stand in a room and watch a Wraith feed upon a human. He got his hands dirty, and if you believe in karma, he lost some points there too.

Wallace gets the bigger prize in this area for volunteering and then going through with it. After the wrong he did, in the end he comes off clean (and sympathetic) by making the sacrifice.


The above sentence alone would indicate that Sheppard was willing to allow a civilian to be fed upon by the wraith, and that he used pressure to gain his cooperation.

Yet that's what happened. I'll even concede "pressure" if you think telling a man who is about to become a murderer that his victim has people who loved her. Me, once I calmed down and got a little more objective, I decided Jeannie's status as mom, wife, and sister should have made the part that, yeah, people cared for her a no-brainer for a guy who ran a medical technology company.

ReganX
December 16th, 2007, 11:11 AM
A more likely scenario (and one I've seen with many variations in dramatic films and television) is the stabber kills himself in or near the hospital, so the body will be found right away. Before killing himself, he leaves behind instructions to use his organ(s) to save his victim. The doctor receives the instructions in a timely manner, the suicided stabber is rushed to the surgical suite, and there is a (bittersweet) happy ending and a toast to the (belated) integrity of the stabber.

With that scenario, would the doctor not have a moral responsibility to do everything possible to save the stabber's life, even if by saving the stabber, it means that the victim will not have access to the organs he or she needs to live.

Which is the doctor's priority; the stabber or the victim who could potentially be saved?

expendable_crewman
December 16th, 2007, 03:55 PM
With that scenario, would the doctor not have a moral responsibility to do everything possible to save the stabber's life, even if by saving the stabber, it means that the victim will not have access to the organs he or she needs to live.

Which is the doctor's priority; the stabber or the victim who could potentially be saved?

The Hippocratic Oath prevents the doctor from doing anything less than his 100% all to save the stabber's life.

Sticking with the organ transplant scenario ... stabber realizes the error of his ways, victim needs an organ to survive stabber's assault, stabber wants to sacrifice himself ,,, the stabber would not find a doctor (legally) who would take the organ unless the stabber was dead, as in beyond ressucitation, gone, bye, and no longer with us. That's why in drama when you see this the stabber takes his own life.

Now, when the stabber says, "Then take my heart" or whatever (excuse the melodrama, lol), and points his own gun at his head, ask me if the cop who knows the situation, knows the stabber wants to give his heart to save his own victim, and who is maybe within arm's distance should try to stop the stabber from killing himself?

That answer is yes, too. Even to keep the stabber from being a donor and saving the victim's life, he should try.

Is he going to try? Probably not.

blue-skyz
December 17th, 2007, 07:27 AM
It's the "why" part that would trouble me. Why tell Wallace about the Wraith in the first place, why let him know that the Wraith needed to feed?
Wallace asks about his victim, Jeannie. Sheppard tells him Jeannie will die. He tells him the lengths that they have gone to to save her and why it didn’t work. Then he shows him the effects of his crimes, Jeannie’s husband and daughter and McKay’s blaming himself.

None of this is a crime or is it coercion or pressure to do the right thing. Sheppard’s intention is apparent to the viewer and it seems that Wallace understands the implication, but Wallace would have had to draw his own conclusions and request to be allowed to do it.

The conversation that Sheppard had with Wallace is there for the viewer to infer what actually happened, it is unnecessary to the framing of a crime. The SGC knows what happened, there are plenty of witnesses.

If Wallace was in the custody of the SGC, then they had a responsibility to safeguard his welfare, which would include preventing him from harming himself and protecting him from being harmed by someone else.
Exactly. The SGC made a decision that was advantageous to the ongoing war in Pegasus. McKay and the Wraith were necessary to that effort. The criminal that had caused the current situation wanting to sacrifice himself to save his victim and set things right would not have taken the pragmatic military officers of the SGC long to process. Their main concern would have been how to make it palatable to civilian sensibilities.

Fact: Wallace was fed upon by the Wraith.

Possibility 1: Wallace allowed himself to be fed upon by the Wraith.
Questions: Was Sheppard aware that he was going to do this? Why was Wallace in the lab with the Wraith? Once it became clear what Wallace's intentions were, was any attempt made to stop him or to stop the Wraith? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent Wallace from being fed upon by the Wraith? If not, why was it not done?
The Wraith is still alive. Wallace is dead. The Wraith was allowed to feed. If the intention had not been to let him feed, the Wraith would be dead or further incapacitated and Wallace might still be alive but older. Sheppard had to ensure that the Wraith would not be harmed. There were, at least, one SGC guard in the lab and two in the observation room. The two guards from Atlantis were also in the lab. Sheppard had to be sure that these guards would follow order’s to stand down while the Wraith fed. The only way to be sure of that was if the order came directly from the SGC brass. So, no, nothing was done to prevent it or stop it. Sheppard, at least, had to release the Wraith and stand by while he fed.

Possibility 2: The Wraith broke free and fed on Wallace.
Questions: Why was Wallace in the lab with the Wraith? How did the Wraith break free? Why was he not securely restrained to prevent him feeding on a human? What kind of security presence was in the lab at the time of the incident? What did they do to stop the the Wraith when he began to feed? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent Wallace from being fed upon by the Wraith? If not, why was it not done?
This is version for the report. Sheppard was trying to talk Wallace into helping. It was unforeseeable. It happened so fast. He was so strong… blah, blah, blah… End result: The SGC accepts the explanation and Sheppard goes back to Atlantis.

Either possibility would mean that a strong case could be made for negligence.
I agree. There is no way that I can think of that does not, in the best case, involve some form of negligence.

What happened had to be witnessed by several SGC guards. Since, Sheppard, immediately following Wallace’s death, openly stated what the incident report would contain, in apparent opposition to what actually took place; we have to assume that that the contents of the report had been previously agreed to by the SGC brass (IMO).

If Sheppard was given permission/approval/orders to do what he did, as appears to be the case, the SGC would have previously determined that the incident would be viewed by them as unavoidable or unforeseeable given the circumstances. This, of course, still does not make it legal or ‘right’ on our everyday, comfortable moral scale. Sheppard went back to Atlantis with his career in tact, but not his conscience.

Question on US law for clarification; if, hypothetically speaking, a person stabs somebody, injuring them so badly that they need a major organ transplant to recover, regrets his or her actions and wants to make amends, can a doctor remove the organ from the stabber and transplant it into their victim, when it will mean the death of the former?
Good analogy. As far as I know, transplants are never done in cases where the donor can not survive without the donated organ. So even to save a victim, I doubt a transplant could be done, legally.

But we know that what happened is never going to fit neatly into our legal system. What Sheppard did would never be considered ‘legal.’ But, In the balance of things, I think, it was just.

There were no ‘clean’ solutions here. Our morality is offended because there is no solution that ends ‘they lived happily ever after.’ Our sense of justice is offended because it was not an evil man who wanted so badly to save his daughter that he disregarded other people’s lives and families. This is a muddy tale of desperation, bad outcomes, unthinkable choices, guilt, remorse, and selflessness. Sheppard’s solution is not legal or right, but it is the best one among the horrible possibilities. He chooses to allow the man responsible to right his wrong and takes the burden of how that was accomplished onto himself.

expendable_crewman
December 18th, 2007, 05:44 AM
There were no ‘clean’ solutions here. Our morality is offended because there is no solution that ends ‘they lived happily ever after.’ Our sense of justice is offended because it was not an evil man who wanted so badly to save his daughter that he disregarded other people’s lives and families. This is a muddy tale of desperation, bad outcomes, unthinkable choices, guilt, remorse, and selflessness. Sheppard’s solution is not legal or right, but it is the best one among the horrible possibilities. He chooses to allow the man responsible to right his wrong and takes the burden of how that was accomplished onto himself.


Oh, wow. That says it so well.

ReganX
December 18th, 2007, 10:29 AM
The Hippocratic Oath prevents the doctor from doing anything less than his 100% all to save the stabber's life.

Sticking with the organ transplant scenario ... stabber realizes the error of his ways, victim needs an organ to survive stabber's assault, stabber wants to sacrifice himself ,,, the stabber would not find a doctor (legally) who would take the organ unless the stabber was dead, as in beyond ressucitation, gone, bye, and no longer with us. That's why in drama when you see this the stabber takes his own life.

Now, when the stabber says, "Then take my heart" or whatever (excuse the melodrama, lol), and points his own gun at his head, ask me if the cop who knows the situation, knows the stabber wants to give his heart to save his own victim, and who is maybe within arm's distance should try to stop the stabber from killing himself?

That answer is yes, too. Even to keep the stabber from being a donor and saving the victim's life, he should try.

Is he going to try? Probably not.

Legally, is he putting himself at risk if he doesn't make every possible effort to save the stabber? As I understand it, organs can only be taken if the donor is brainstem dead but being kept alive artificially, with no chance of resuscitation and (in Ireland) this has to be verified by two independent doctors before organs can actually be taken, and the next of kin has to be consulted first.

Here, carrying an organ donor card lets the doctors know your wishes, but they still need the permission of your next of kin before they take any organs.

blue-skyz
December 18th, 2007, 05:51 PM
That is the crux. We're applying RL values here and that's not necessarily a bad thing, because that's how we're going to react to the show.

In RL, a person in custody becomes the responsibility of his or her jailers. This "responsibility" thing isn't absolute, though.

I've read of in-custody suicides and homicides in police departments getting serious scrutiny by the public and oversight, whereas in prison, I think suicides are considered as having been chosen by the person who killed himself, and responsibility in homicides go to the person who killed the victim.

Since I did not see anything in the ep that makes me believe Sheppard acted outside the SGC's knowledge, and I believe Wallace volunteered, I'd like to propose a scenario.

Let's say this happens on a Pegasus planet M0X-000. Same players, Wallace has Jeannie and Rodney in an alien bunker against their will ... there's a rescue by Sheppard and the team ... Wallace is captured, no longer in control ... but now the Bola Kai have come through the Stargate and taken control of the DHD.

During her captivity, Jeannie was injured. Now she is dying and needs to get to Atlantis for immediate treatment.

Taking the Stargate by force or making a rush for it is a bad choice because Jeannie can't run-- she was injured by Wallace's actions, plus she's never fired a P90 or a 9mm. She's more of a civilian than Wallace. She's the poster child for civilian, and 100% the victim, as she was in MC.

If they try to run, Jeannie will be the slowest person and so will the person who is charged to help carry her. They're dead, in other words. If the whole group moves at Jeannie's speed, the whole group is dead.

The Bola Kai say they'll let all but one person go through the Stargate. The Bola Kai don't want to fight. They've seen the team and their weapons in action. They know they, the Bola Kai, will win, but a lot of them will die in the process. The reason they haven't given up yet is they are starving.

They are cannibals and will eat the person who stays behind.

Choice A: Rodney volunteers and is restrained, after which Wallace volunteers to stay behind. Rodney is motivated by love for his sister, Wallace by guilt. Wallace is the stabber in ReganX's (see below) scenario. Jeannie needs immediate medical attention and she can't make a mad dash for the Stargate, and it's Wallace's fault she's injured. Therefore it's his fault the people who want to save Jeannie can't wait around (the safe choice) for a rescue by Atlantis when they miss their check-in.

Wallace is not restrained. No one blocks the exit. Ronon stands aside, Sheppard stands aside, and Rodney stands aside. In choice A, Wallace is allowed to go to the Bola Kai and he dies horribly.

Choice B: Rodney volunteers and is forcibly restrained, after which Wallace volunteers and the team restrains him, too, from acting on his choice. Then they hold Jeannie's hand while she dies, after which they either make a successful dash for the Stargate or wait for back-up.

In choice B, the clean choice, by the way, Jeannie dies of injury inflicted by Wallace.

Choice C: They restrain everybody successfully, there are no suicides, and they decide to make a dash for the Stargate. Jeannie dies horribly, and the person carrying her dies horribly. Wallace makes it back to Atlantis, where he promptly joins Sora the knife-wielding Genii lady in some abyss in the bowels of the city.

As far as I'm concerned, if any of the above choices is written well, I'd watch.

In choice A, though, removing the SGC from the scenario takes the edge off Sheppard, so it's less compelling than the actual ep, and since I've seen it before in sci-fi and regular TV, it's nothing uusual, just another hour of TV.
This is a great analogy. :) It reduces the issue to its basics and makes it very easy to understand the alternatives. It removes the sentimentality and the sympathy for Wallace that cloud the actual circumstances.

blue-skyz
December 18th, 2007, 06:38 PM
Secret or not, there is still accountability - remember Makepeace and his friends? I doubt very much that there are any public records of them being sentenced, but they still were. If anyone working at the SGC or on Atlantis was found to be guilty of a crime, they would still have to pay the price, just secretly.
There is accountability. But, as Woolsey has done twice, reports get falsified when it serves the greater good (or keeps Woolsey from enduring endless questions.) The SGC made the decision to falsify the report of Wallace’s death before the fact. That included the decision to hold Sheppard blameless for his ‘negligence’ during the incident.

If Sheppard had acted without the prior knowledge of the SGC, he would have been held accountable and be awaiting disciplinary action. He would not have returned to Atlantis. A court martial would be far to public and involved for the situation. Sheppard could have been quietly and simply dealt with in several ways. He could have found himself in a cell in the SGC, dishonorably discharged, back in Antarctica, or, if his experience was considered too invaluable to lose, back on Atlantis, demoted or with a loss of pay and privileges.

It would be difficult to bring any charges against Sheppard (they have to be secret) without first talking to his commanding officer, in this case, probably, Landry, to find out his reason for accepting the report. In fact, no charges would have been brought until all the principles had been interviewed and there had been an investigation of the circumstances and a recommendation of what charges to bring and who should be charged.

Even if Wallace's crimes merited the death penalty, and he had been duly sentenced, it would still be a crime for the Wraith to kill him, or for him to be in any way manipulated or pressured into allowing himself to be killed.
He was not ‘in any way manipulated or pressured into allowing himself to be killed,’ IMO. This is always going to be ‘an eye of the beholder’ situation. Legally speaking, I don’t think what Sheppard actually said can be interpreted as undue influence.

Wallace’s death was, however, facilitated. There is no other scenario that can explain what happened. Wallace walked to his death on his own. Sheppard took him to the lab, unchained the Wraith, made [email protected] sure that the guards would not try to save him and stood by while the Wraith killed Wallace. What Sheppard said to Wallace in inconsequential and immaterial to the actual act of facilitating his suicide.




Originally Posted by AncientThor
John just let him know all the options and the situation, what is at stake.
Wow, I hope the defence don't try to make that case. The above sentence alone would indicate that Sheppard was willing to allow a civilian to be fed upon by the wraith, and that he used pressure to gain his cooperation.
No it doesn’t..

What Sheppard said to Wallace was very carefully worded (by the writers). There is nothing in the conversation but the basic facts of the situation. There is intentionally nothing in the wording that can be specifically construed as ‘pressure.’ There is no mention of feeding the Wraith, no wording that indicates that Sheppard would be willing to feed anyone to the Wraith and certainly no overt encouragement for Wallace to volunteer to be fed to the Wraith.

bluealien
December 19th, 2007, 12:45 PM
There were no ‘clean’ solutions here. Our morality is offended because there is no solution that ends ‘they lived happily ever after.’ Our sense of justice is offended because it was not an evil man who wanted so badly to save his daughter that he disregarded other people’s lives and families.

We can all stand on a different side of the fence where morals are concerned and this is not about offending our morality, it's about our sense of justice. Sheppard took the law into his own hands and sought his own justice to find the solution that best suited him. Walllace was clearly held accountable for his actions, but Sheppard doesn't seem to have to follow the same laws. No matter the circumstances, or how noble your intentions are you cannot take the law into your own hands and perpetrate a crime. Wallace should have been afforded the same rights as any prisoner in custody and kept in a safe environment until such time as he was transported to whatever facility he was going to end up to await trial. He should not have been presented with options that included taking his own life or escorted to a place where his life was taken from him without any inteference from Sheppard, whether he agreed to do this or not.

I believe that Sheppard clearly pressured Wallace into doing what he did but even if some want to believe that Sheppard played no part in Wallace's decision, he clearly aided and abetted in a suicide and failed to keep a prisoner safe in his custody, this alone is gross negligence.


This is a muddy tale of desperation, bad outcomes, unthinkable choices, guilt, remorse, and selflessness. Sheppard’s solution is not legal or right, but it is the best one among the horrible possibilities. He chooses to allow the man responsible to right his wrong and takes the burden of how that was accomplished onto himself.
It's a tale of muddy desparation on the part of both men while one was held accountable and the other wasn't. Sheppards solution was not legal or right and you can only argue that it was the best solution if you agree with the outcome. Most, obviously agree with the outcome as the other alternative was for Rodney to die. So in other words it was the best solutions for Rodney and Sheppard. You could also use the same analogy if Wallace's daughter had surivived. Then I guess you could say that Wallace would have achieved the best solution, even if his methods of arriving at that solution were wrong.


He chooses to allow the man responsible to right his wrong and takes the burden of how that was accomplished onto himself.

If Wallace had overheard Rodney agreeing to sacrifice himself to the Wraith to save Jeannie and had freely (no presentation of options from Sheppard) agreed to take Rodney's place, then I could understand Sheppard standing back and letting Wallace " right his wrong" if you will. But this didn't happen and it was not about Sheppard caring whether Wallace righted his wrong, or even whether Wallace wanted redemption, it was about Sheppard using the mans guilt and remorse against him to accomplish what he wanted, and that was to save Rodney. His actions were not right or legal, or the best solution, it was the only solution that Sheppard could come up with that secured Rodneys life and that was his goal, to save Rodney. But just because Sheppard saw this as his only solution doesn't excuse what he did, the same way Wallace couldn't be excused for what he did. But our alliance lies with Sheppard and Rodney and obviously our emotional attachments, so we are going to choose Wallace's life over Rodneys, but this still does not make it any more justifiable. It just makes it easier to accept, because like Rodney we are stunned that Sheppard would go to such lenghts as talking a man into killing himself (Rodney's words)so we don't really want to think about exactly what Sheppard did to achieve this. It's probably easier on the consience of both men to believe that it was all about Wallace wanting to achieve redemption and forget about the part where he got a helping hand in achieving that redemption.

blue-skyz
December 20th, 2007, 01:53 PM
We can all stand on a different side of the fence where morals are concerned and this is not about offending our morality, it's about our sense of justice.
Justice is not an absolute.

The ‘clean’ solution:
1. Either Sheppard does nothing
or, maybe, Sheppard has his conversation with Wallace, but Wallace does not care about Jeannie and her family. He would rather save his own life and become a murderer.
2. Sheppard convinces the SGC to restrain McKay or otherwise keep him away from the Wraith.
It certainly would not be ‘justice’ to allow an innocent man (or any other?) to commit suicide for any reason.
Sheppard in a jumper with an atomic bomb comes to mind.
3. Jeannie dies.
4. The Wraith dies,
or is taken back to Pegasus and either released again
or they try to capture a wraith for him to feed on so he can continue his work on the Replicator attack code.
5. Wallace gets the form of ‘justice’ meted out to those that breach national security and learn secrets that they cannot be trusted with. Wallace is a murderer. That is undeniable. McKay was there; the viewers witnessed it. Wallace killed Jeannie with the premeditated injection of nanites during the felony of kidnapping. He has nothing left to lose. He has dug his grave. He cannot be trusted outside of secure areas, so he is unlikely to ever be allowed out of wherever they hide major security risks.
6. McKay? What does McKay do after Jeannie dies?

It’s hard when ‘justice’ isn’t just.
Just who is ‘justice’ suppose to protect?
Who is best served by ‘justice’.’ the criminal or the victim?

Sheppard took the law into his own hands and sought his own justice to find the solution that best suited him. Walllace was clearly held accountable for his actions, but Sheppard doesn't seem to have to follow the same laws. No matter the circumstances, or how noble your intentions are you cannot take the law into your own hands and perpetrate a crime. Wallace should have been afforded the same rights as any prisoner in custody and kept in a safe environment until such time as he was transported to whatever facility he was going to end up to await trial.
Sheppard was dealing with the fall out from Wallace’s crimes. Sheppard wanted the solution that was best for Wallace’s victims.

Wallace was never going to get a trial in the traditional sense. There would be some kind of decision or judgment about him, then he would have been hidden away. The government is quite capable of dealing with his disappearance.

He should not have been presented with options that included taking his own life or escorted to a place where his life was taken from him without any inteference from Sheppard, whether he agreed to do this or not.
Wallace was never presented with any options. That is the beauty of Sheppard’s words.
Wallace had to draw his own conclusions, make up his own mind and ask to be allowed to save Jeannie.

If this had not been Wallace’s decision, I doubt that the SGC would have allowed it. I might be able to picture Sheppard, acting on his own, arranging to get Wallace to the Wraith, and managing to pull off the feeding, but in no way can I picture him getting away with it.

But then there remains the problem of protecting the Wraith. Sheppard had to be absolutely sure that the Wraith would not be harmed or it would all have been for nothing. Acting on his own, I do not believe he had enough authority to be sure he could control the SGC guards. The SGC brass would allow Wallace to save his victim but they would not have allowed Sheppard to force Wallace in to doing it. IMO

I believe that Sheppard clearly pressured Wallace into doing what he did but even if some want to believe that Sheppard played no part in Wallace's decision, he clearly aided and abetted in a suicide and failed to keep a prisoner safe in his custody, this alone is gross negligence.
Oh, Sheppard played a part in Wallace’s decision. He gave him the facts necessary to make a decision. Sheppard didn’t make the decision for Wallace and he didn’t tell him that he was to blame for Jeannie’s impending death and he didn’t tell him to give up his life to save her. The facts speak for themselves.

I agree that Sheppard facilitated Wallace’s suicide. And he did it in a way that had to be personally horrifying to him. He is a protector and he allowed a man to die. He has been fed on by a Wraith and he allowed another to be fed on. It would have been far easier for Sheppard to let Jeannie die.

The report supposedly reads that he, in effect, ‘failed to keep a prisoner safe.’ That would be negligence. The SGC must have seen it as unavoidable/unforeseeable/justifiable negligence because they accepted the report and sent him back to Atlantis.

It's a tale of muddy desparation on the part of both men while one was held accountable and the other wasn't. Sheppards solution was not legal or right and you can only argue that it was the best solution if you agree with the outcome. Most, obviously agree with the outcome as the other alternative was for Rodney to die. So in other words it was the best solutions for Rodney and Sheppard.
McKay would not have died, Jeannie would have. McKay would never have gotten close to the Wraith. Sheppard could easily accomplish that with the help of the SGC. The SGC would never have permitted McKay to sacrifice himself. The aftermath of Jeannie’s death would have been devastating to everyone. Sheppard would not have saved McKay and he would not have saved himself. Wallace’s gift to all of them.

You could also use the same analogy if Wallace's daughter had surivived. Then I guess you could say that Wallace would have achieved the best solution, even if his methods of arriving at that solution were wrong.
No. I would never say that.

If Wallace’s daughter had lived, it would not justify kidnapping two innocent people with armed and masked men, assaulting the husband and a federal agent and injecting known-to-be-dangerous nanites into an innocent woman who was trying to help.

Wallace’s actions are not comparable to Sheppard’s on any level.
Wallace is the cause of the mess that leaves Jeannie dying and Sheppard, McKay and the Wraith on Earth. Sheppard’s actions are an attempt to salvage something from Wallace’s mess.
Sheppard’s actions are an attempt to keep Wallace’s victims, both Jeannie and McKay, from suffering more.

If Wallace had overheard Rodney agreeing to sacrifice himself to the Wraith to save Jeannie and had freely (no presentation of options from Sheppard) agreed to take Rodney's place, then I could understand Sheppard standing back and letting Wallace " right his wrong" if you will.
Wallace was in a holding room. He was not wondering the walls catching snatches of conversation or hanging out in the cafeteria listening to gossip. Maybe he could have gleaned the current circumstances through osmosis or divination. Or maybe he could have thrown some money around to get information the way he did to get national secrets. Someone had to tell him the situation. The information is far too specific to have been learned by chance. The viewer would have suspected an overheard conversation, anyway, and it would not have had the dramatic impact that Sheppard’s quiet telling of the facts had.

And Sheppard never presented Wallace with options.

But this didn't happen and it was not about Sheppard caring whether Wallace righted his wrong, or even whether Wallace wanted redemption, it was about Sheppard using the mans guilt and remorse against him to accomplish what he wanted, and that was to save Rodney. His actions were not right or legal, or the best solution, it was the only solution that Sheppard could come up with that secured Rodneys life and that was his goal, to save Rodney.
Sheppard could have saved McKay. All he had to do was keep him away from the Wraith until Jeannie died. Of course, after that, it wouldn’t have been the same McKay.

McKay wants to save Jeannie. He feels guilty about Jeannie being involved in secrets that draw dangerous people, but he didn’t even bring her into it originally, Carter did. The thing is, McKay is not guilty. He is a victim, as surly as Jeannie is. If Sheppard had allowed McKay to die, how would that have been ‘justice‘? If Sheppard had allowed McKay to die, it would have been assisted suicide and he would have paid for it. The SGC would never have approved McKay’s sacrificing himself.

But just because Sheppard saw this as his only solution doesn't excuse what he did, the same way Wallace couldn't be excused for what he did.
Not the same way. Again, not comparable.

Sheppard is not ‘clean’ here, but Sheppard was caught in Wallace’s mess. He was navigating a moral mine field. Wallace chose his path and endangered innocent people in pursuit of his own goals. Not comparable, at all.

But our alliance lies with Sheppard and Rodney and obviously our emotional attachments, so we are going to choose Wallace's life over Rodneys, but this still does not make it any more justifiable. It just makes it easier to accept, because like Rodney we are stunned that Sheppard would go to such lenghts as talking a man into killing himself (Rodney's words)
Words that Sheppard denies and a conclusion that is not supported by Sheppard’s actual words to Wallace. But, what took place is clear to the viewer and I was astonished.

It does not require the viewer to be infatuated with Sheppard and McKay to believe that it is better to have the instigator of the mess suffer for it rather than his innocent victims.

so we don't really want to think about exactly what Sheppard did to achieve this. It's probably easier on the consience of both men to believe that it was all about Wallace wanting to achieve redemption and forget about the part where he got a helping hand in achieving that redemption.
Redemption is never mentioned in the episode. It is a notion from morality plays and was summoned up by the viewer to fit the circumstances (and verified by JM). Neither Sheppard nor McKay care a twit about Wallace’s redemption. McKay cares that he got his sister back. Sheppard cares that Jeannie didn’t die, McKay didn’t die, the Wraith didn’t die and they still have a chance to stop the Replicators. Sheppard carries the burden of how that was accomplished.

expendable_crewman
December 20th, 2007, 03:09 PM
We can all stand on a different side of the fence where morals are concerned and this is not about offending our morality, it's about our sense of justice. Sheppard took the law into his own hands and sought his own justice to find the solution that best suited him.

I can't say what the writers intended, but it doesn't work for me if the ep's ending was about serving the law or justice.

I agree Sheppard boiled his choices down to a solution that suited him. I guess where we disagree is whether or not Sheppard got off clean.


Sheppard was not serving the law or justice. Walllace was clearly held accountable for his actions, but Sheppard doesn't seem to have to follow the same laws. No matter the circumstances, or how noble your intentions are you cannot take the law into your own hands and perpetrate a crime. Wallace should have been afforded the same rights as any prisoner in custody and kept in a safe environment until such time as he was transported to whatever facility he was going to end up to await trial. He should not have been presented with options that included taking his own life or escorted to a place where his life was taken from him without any inteference from Sheppard, whether he agreed to do this or not.

In universe, Wallace would not have been afforded the same rights of a prisoner in custody. In universe, he's stolen data on a top secret project, kidnapped scientists assigned to a top secret project that affects an ongoing war with global implications.

I mention that, because in this discussion we-- me included --keep going back and forth between in-universe and out-of-universe platforms.

But I really don't care where Wallace was headed because I don't think the law and justice were objectives present in the last few moments MC.

One can argue that consequences, maybe, just maybe, were boiled down to an old-style eye-for-an-eye type of thing. There are long-running feuds and unrest ongoing today where Sheppard's actions would make sense in a justice scenario.

I guess that I don't see Sheppard in a "quest for rough justice" kind of thing here. I see him capable of appreciating the horror of what he did, and I see him approaching Wallace because, as he said, when assessing blame, Wallace carried the lion's share.

It's a "who's going to clean up this mess" thing, because I think it's a mistake to ignore that Wallace is the reason Sheppard was in the Milky Way to begin with. Wallace is the reason Jeannie wasn't home reading Madison stories. He is the reason the Wraith made history as the first Wraith to visit the SGC.

And even so, it's still not a justice issue, it's less complicated than that, and I do believe justice is complicated. Well, not justice, but the administration of it.

By definition, justice must be without emotion in order to be effective. It must be impartial and relevant. If Wallace was to face justice, he would have been stripped of his reasons, the things that make us like him, and he would have had to face his crimes for what they were, no mitigating factors-- mitigating factors, unless they support an affirmative defense, are for sentencing. There wasn't any justice in MC's ending, and I saw no attempt at administering it.


I believe that Sheppard clearly pressured Wallace into doing what he did but even if some want to believe that Sheppard played no part in Wallace's decision, he clearly aided and abetted in a suicide and failed to keep a prisoner safe in his custody, this alone is gross negligence.

I wonder why Wallace gets no credit for making up his mind. I saw a character worthy of that. I've seen grief in spades, falling down on the ground grief, screaming your head off grief. In his grief, Wallace coordinated a massive and pretty successful undertaking. He hired people, paid them, gave orders. He deconstructed the SGC's security and he talks clearly about facing the consequences. He passes the legal standard for sane. Why isn't he allowed credit for making all his decisions?

And, yes, Sheppard aided and abetted a suicide, which is prosecuted as murder in some states in the US.


It's a tale of muddy desparation on the part of both men while one was held accountable and the other wasn't. Sheppards solution was not legal or right and you can only argue that it was the best solution if you agree with the outcome. Most, obviously agree with the outcome as the other alternative was for Rodney to die. So in other words it was the best solutions for Rodney and Sheppard. You could also use the same analogy if Wallace's daughter had surivived. Then I guess you could say that Wallace would have achieved the best solution, even if his methods of arriving at that solution were wrong.

It's too bad we can't argue whether or not it was the best solution for Wallace, even though Wallace picked it, because we don't agree Wallace was able to make this choice for himself.

(Even though we can accept that other characters, also grieving, are able to make this choice-- another thing I find interesting.)

So ... with that off the table ... I agree it was neither legal nor right on Sheppard's part, at least the parts Sheppard chose for himself. He chose to facilitate Wallace's decision.

Btw, in an either / or, how do you decide who gets the carrot?

If it's Rodney or Wallace, as you say, why is it okay for it to be Rodney, or Sheppard, or anyone other than Wallace? Why MUST Wallace be protected, and Jeannie die? Who dies in order for her to live?

For me, here's the either / or that I see: Wallace feeds the Wraith or Jeannie dies. Since Rodney spoke before he acted, Sheppard is capable of preventing Rodney from feeding the Wraith. Rodney's not even in it anymore. If Rodney was in it, and Rodney was allowed to feed the Wraith, the same sin is on Sheppard's soul ... facilitating a suicide. The only difference between Wallace and McKay ... and it's not who is more likable, who is whose friend ... the only relevant difference is Rodney didn't create the mess that's endangered Jeannie's life, Wallace did.

Btw, if it's a question of who is the most deserving Wraith fodder, I am at a loss ... because I don't think people should be used to feed Wraith.

That's what made the ep interesting.

Good story idea: If people shouldn't be fed to Wraith, write a situation where a Wraith has to be fed or a person dies.

And ...


If Wallace had overheard Rodney agreeing to sacrifice himself to the Wraith to save Jeannie and had freely (no presentation of options from Sheppard) agreed to take Rodney's place, then I could understand Sheppard standing back and letting Wallace " right his wrong" if you will.

Clean, and actually what I expect from this show.

Would we still be on this thread if the way out was the easy road?


But this didn't happen and it was not about Sheppard caring whether Wallace righted his wrong, or even whether Wallace wanted redemption, it was about Sheppard using the mans guilt and remorse against him to accomplish what he wanted, and that was to save Rodney.

As opposed to having two large, physically fit Marines sit on Rodney.


His actions were not right or legal, or the best solution, it was the only solution that Sheppard could come up with that secured Rodneys life and that was his goal, to save Rodney. But just because Sheppard saw this as his only solution doesn't excuse what he did, the same way Wallace couldn't be excused for what he did.

Sheppard is not excused. Wallace is dead, so he gets a pardon. Sheppard gets no such thing.


But our alliance lies with Sheppard and Rodney and obviously our emotional attachments, so we are going to choose Wallace's life over Rodneys, but this still does not make it any more justifiable.

The either / or, if there was any, was feed the Wraith or Jeannie, Wallace's victim, dies.


It just makes it easier to accept, because like Rodney we are stunned that Sheppard would go to such lenghts as talking a man into killing himself (Rodney's words)so we don't really want to think about exactly what Sheppard did to achieve this.

I'm knocking myself out thinking about it.


It's probably easier on the consience of both men to believe that it was all about Wallace wanting to achieve redemption and forget about the part where he got a helping hand in achieving that redemption.

Redemption, intersting. What if Wallace chose to feed the Wraith because if he didn't, EITHER his victim would die ... OR some other poor guy would. Redemption was too far down the road in the scenario, I think, just like justice. It was, to me, more like "push this button and save Jeannie and oh by the way whoever pushes this button gets a terminal case of whatever."

Sort of like Daniel in Meridian, or Sheppard in Ark.

It's do this thing and save somebody.

Isolate Wallace from the ability to make a choice, and of course he can't make it.

But they didn't isolate him from the information. Sheppard laid it out for him. Wallace chose. He died. The Wraith lived. Jeannie lived. Sheppard lives with being the highest-ranking man in the lab when a Wraith drained the life force from a guy who, as it turns out, had the fiber to offer to push the button.

What do you think should happen to Sheppard?

Under spoilers for topic-unworthiness:
Sometimes I take special orders, remember, bluealien? If you had creative control of a follow-up story, and MC happened exactly as it happened, what do you think should happen to Sheppard in the aftermath?

ReganX
December 21st, 2007, 10:04 AM
No matter the circumstances, or how noble your intentions are you cannot take the law into your own hands and perpetrate a crime. Wallace should have been afforded the same rights as any prisoner in custody and kept in a safe environment until such time as he was transported to whatever facility he was going to end up to await trial. He should not have been presented with options that included taking his own life or escorted to a place where his life was taken from him without any inteference from Sheppard, whether he agreed to do this or not.

Long and very good post - sorry I have to snip so much of it. The purpose of this thread, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is to establish which crimes Sheppard could or should be charged with, so his actions are far more relevant than his motives or what was at stake. This isn't the trial, so it isn't a case of conviction.

Right now, it's not a question of "why" so much as "what" - what did Sheppard do that he shouldn't have done? What didn't he do that he should have done?

Once charges are brought, the defence will have their chance to argue either (a) that Sheppard did not do what he is accused of doing, or (b) that Sheppard may have done what he was accused of, but that he was right to do what he did. The prosecution will have to argue the reverse.


I believe that Sheppard clearly pressured Wallace into doing what he did but even if some want to believe that Sheppard played no part in Wallace's decision, he clearly aided and abetted in a suicide and failed to keep a prisoner safe in his custody, this alone is gross negligence.

So that's one possible charge, right there.

What would it be called if Sheppard had pressured Wallace into offering himself up as a Wraith snack? Coercion?

blue-skyz
December 22nd, 2007, 08:51 AM
The purpose of this thread, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is to establish which crimes Sheppard could or should be charged with
:rolleyes: Every time I start to simply lay out the charges, they turn into a tangle of possibilities.:rolleyes:
I have to conclude that there is nothing simple about Miller’s Crossing.

There is a distinct difference between the crime Sheppard actually committed and the one that is apparent and provable.

This issue is complicated by several things.

It took place in a closed environment with tight security and many cameras and potential witnesses. Everything that occurred would be immediately knowable.
Care would have been taken to make sure the cameras saw only what fitted the reported occurrence. The witnesses would have been selected for their ability to ‘understand’ what they saw. (In other words, I think they would have staged it so that what is visible on security cameras can, at least, ambiguously, be seen to fit the intended explanation. Disabling the cameras or losing the files is too suspicious.)

The incident took place in a military setting, so a determination needs to be made about whether Sheppard had authority/orders/permission for his actions, whose authority Sheppard was acting under, if any, how high up does the knowledge and consent go, who else had knowledge beforehand and consented, who was in charge of security and provided access to Wallace and the control of the SGC guards that was vital to ensuring the Wraith was not killed, and who, both in authority and complicity, are chargeable? Sheppard is not alone in this.

Is Sheppard chargeable if he was acting with the authority of his superiors?

The SGC is at war. How much authority does the SGC have to act on its own in furtherance of that war effort? Does that extend to allowing a civilian to volunteer for a suicide mission?
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Things we need to know:

There needs to be a determination of who we are going to pretend initiated the charges against Sheppard. Landry obviously didn’t; he had to know beforehand and he accepted the version in the report and allowed Sheppard to return to Atlantis.

Related to that is who received the tape and what did they do with it?

Who sent the tape? Who is the snitch? (At least in general terms)

Will there be an investigation by JAG(?) to determine what charges are prosecutable?

Will a hearing (this is extremely secret stuff, so probably not a real Article 32 hearing) be held to determine what charges will be brought against Sheppard?
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The charge that is apparent and provable is negligence. That charge is conceded in the report Sheppard said he would write. Degree of negligence is another mater.

Landry would have given Sheppard authority to allow Wallace to sacrifice himself, but Sheppard would go through the motions following it. He would immediately go to Landry, the commanding officer, and explain what took place (the Wraith got lose and fed on Wallace). In a case of real negligence, Landry could have held him or released him. Sheppard would have written his report, the contents having been verbally accepted by Landry and probably read and signed before Sheppard left.

Sheppard returned to Atlantis with the Wraith as soon as he was allowed to leave. The Wraith needed to continue work on the Replicator attack code.
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Sheppard’s actual crime is facilitating a suicide or participating in an activity where it was previously known that the death of a civilian was unavoidable. :rolleyes:

If Wallace had permission of the SGC (Landry), and it is extremely difficult to believe that this could have occurred without it, then Wallace had, in fact, volunteered for what amounted to a suicide mission.
Can a civilian be allowed to go on a suicide mission? In time of war? Where the outcome may save many lives? Resistance fighters come to mind. (I know, in the immediate, only Jeannie’s life is at stake, but the SGC would be looking at a broader outcome.)

Sheppard made Wallace aware of the situation (the conversation we saw), he must have participated in Wallace’s gaining permission from the SGC and he did the actual deed: he took Wallace to the Wraith, released the Wraith, allowed the Wraith to kill Wallace and falsified the report.

Sheppard did not pressure Wallace. He didn’t make the decision for Wallace, he didn’t tell him that he was to blame for Jeannie’s impending death and he didn’t tell him to give up his life to save her. Wallace had to draw his own conclusions, make up his own mind and ask to be allowed to save Jeannie. So, no coercion.

Complicit in this are Landry, the colonel in charge of security and various others.

This is unlikely to be a provable charge against Sheppard. I could, however, see the SGC having to justify it at some point.
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Either charge is going to be a problem for the SGC. Even though the report admits some degree of negligence, the SGC had compelling reasons to allow the report to be falsified and cannot permit Sheppard to be charged. He is not expendable ;). The SGC is complicit; the incident is secret in the extreme; who steps in to determine if the SGC was justified given the circumstances? O’Neill? Or had he already been informed? The IOA? The pentagon? Some Senate committee? The president?
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Anyway, as I see it, either negligence or facilitating a suicide, but not both.

It is interesting, that the more we go over this, the more facets of it we uncover; the more ways we find to look at it; the more directions my brain runs off in. The writers did an excellent job of finding a way to feed a Wraith, while creating a fascinating moral dilemma and an even more interesting Sheppard.

expendable_crewman
December 22nd, 2007, 04:21 PM
Anyway, as I see it, either negligence or facilitating a suicide, but not both.

It is interesting, that the more we go over this, the more facets of it we uncover; the more ways we find to look at it; the more directions my brain runs off in. The writers did an excellent job of finding a way to feed a Wraith, while creating a fascinating moral dilemma and an even more interesting Sheppard.

Sorry I snipped your post.

Facilitating a suicide is the more serious, because it could be treated like murder. I think Dr. Death, the euthansia doctor, went to a state in the US and helped a patient commit suicide and that state's penal code said assisted suicide was the same as murder, so they got him for murder.

The UCMJ-- big hefty document, too little time --is probably clear on how it applies to military people.

You're right, I think the push to prosecute would come from the outside and then hit a big hard wall.

I tried to imagine (http://doorwaysfanfic.com/reconciliation.html) what would make the SGC, the Joint Chiefs, the Air Force, and the President allow a probe into an incident involving a being from another galaxy, the military commander of a flying holy grail of technology based in another galaxy, and a civilian CEO who found out about wormhole travel between galaxies :eek: and it's, well, it's got to come from some external source, and then, I think, that external source would have to be able to take Sheppard's action out of the context of all that exotic stuff we call the Stargate bubble, just look at it from the perspective of John and Jane Mainstream, and let John and Jane lose their minds.

Sheppard at the mercy of people who have no knowledge of wormhole travel, Asurans, Wraith, the fact he's encountered a species that needs to feed on lifeforce to finish life-saving equations ... We'd need a whole new code to address this ... whereas and wherefor said Wraith (see terminology) is hungry, section 4(c)(1.b) (see chapter entitled "when it is okay to accept volunteers to feed a Wraith) would apply if under chapter 53a, subsection 7, the Wraith was determined to be necessary to an operation deemed by an appropriate authority a matter of National Security ...

Yeah, okay ... If it's just an in-custody death that he stood by and let happen ... he's toast.

You can't adequately or even halfway explain "suicide by Wraith" or "volunteer to be Wraith food" or "I let him commit suicide to save a victim" without laying down the foundation that is the Pegasus: an enemy that can create the Hot Zone virus, charred planets, an alliance of species, nanites that could potentially cure cancer, and the wormhole thingee that connects it all.

blue-skyz
December 23rd, 2007, 08:32 AM
You're right, I think the push to prosecute would come from the outside and then hit a big hard wall.

I tried to imagine (http://doorwaysfanfic.com/reconciliation.html) what would make the SGC, the Joint Chiefs, the Air Force, and the President allow a probe into an incident involving a being from another galaxy, the military commander of a flying holy grail of technology based in another galaxy, and a civilian CEO who found out about wormhole travel between galaxies :eek: and it's, well, it's got to come from some external source, and then, I think, that external source would have to be able to take Sheppard's action out of the context of all that exotic stuff we call the Stargate bubble, just look at it from the perspective of John and Jane Mainstream, and let John and Jane lose their minds.
Your fanfic kept me enthralled far into the night. I think you did an excellent job of setting up a credible scenario where influential people bump up against the SGC’s cover story in Miller’s Crossing hard enough to make them take action other than just squashing the investigation. Hard enough to make Sheppard have to deal with the fall out. Good read. I recommend it to anyone interested in the can of worms that is Miller’s Crossing.

Sheppard at the mercy of people who have no knowledge of wormhole travel, Asurans, Wraith, the fact he's encountered a species that needs to feed on lifeforce to finish life-saving equations ... We'd need a whole new code to address this ... whereas and wherefor said Wraith (see terminology) is hungry, section 4(c)(1.b) (see chapter entitled "when it is okay to accept volunteers to feed a Wraith) would apply if under chapter 53a, subsection 7, the Wraith was determined to be necessary to an operation deemed by an appropriate authority a matter of National Security.
Yep, better hire themselves a whole bunch of lawyers. :rolleyes: …I’m still laughing. :D

Yeah, okay ... If it's just an in-custody death that he stood by and let happen ... he's toast.
He would be. And it wouldn’t take them long to figure it out. But since he’s not toast…
Got to tell you something.

You can't adequately or even halfway explain "suicide by Wraith" or "volunteer to be Wraith food" or "I let him commit suicide to save a victim" without laying down the foundation that is the Pegasus: an enemy that can create the Hot Zone virus, charred planets, an alliance of species, nanites that could potentially cure cancer, and the wormhole thingee that connects it all.
Hard to get a fair trial in the real world where none of those things can be mentioned, let alone explained. I wonder how long it would take the average upper middle class educated man to grasp the enormity of all that and how exposed and vulnerable it makes life on Earth.

We keep coming up with new analogies to help us look at and understand what happened in Miller’s Crossing.
I particularly liked the simplicity of your ‘button’ idea.

What if Wallace chose to feed the Wraith because if he didn't, EITHER his victim would die ... OR some other poor guy would.

It was, to me, more like "push this button and save Jeannie and oh by the way whoever pushes this button gets a terminal case of whatever."
….
It's do this thing and save somebody.
…..
Isolate Wallace from the ability to make a choice, and of course he can't make it.

But they didn't isolate him from the information. Sheppard laid it out for him. Wallace chose. He died. The Wraith lived. Jeannie lived. Sheppard lives with being the highest-ranking man in the lab when a Wraith drained the life force from a guy who, as it turns out, had the fiber to offer to push the button.
The ‘button’ takes away all the emotional trappings and leaves the real issue exposed.
In what situations is it all right or even honorable to ‘push the button.’
When is giving up your life to save another heroic and when is it just suicide?

expendable_crewman
December 24th, 2007, 12:23 PM
Your fanfic kept me enthralled far into the night. I think you did an excellent job of setting up a credible scenario where influential people bump up against the SGC’s cover story in Miller’s Crossing hard enough to make them take action other than just squashing the investigation. Hard enough to make Sheppard have to deal with the fall out. Good read. I recommend it to anyone interested in the can of worms that is Miller’s Crossing.

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.


Hard to get a fair trial in the real world where none of those things can be mentioned, let alone explained. I wonder how long it would take the average upper middle class educated man to grasp the enormity of all that and how exposed and vulnerable it makes life on Earth.

I know, it's why I asked if the CM thread was going in-universe or out-of-universe. Should be interesting to see (or read) once it gets going.


We keep coming up with new analogies to help us look at and understand what happened in Miller’s Crossing.
I particularly liked the simplicity of your ‘button’ idea.

The ‘button’ takes away all the emotional trappings and leaves the real issue exposed.
In what situations is it all right or even honorable to ‘push the button.’
When is giving up your life to save another heroic and when is it just suicide?

I think it's both. The harder question is when it is okay to * let * another person give up his or her life to save other(s), and when do you say "no way" and stay (for lack of a better description) in the box and accept any and all deaths that happen by following the conventional and (again, for lack of a better word) clean or safe path as par for the course.

desh
December 26th, 2007, 01:03 PM
Sheppard clearly crossed the line of Justice with a capital J; he took an unethical course of action by facilitating Wallace's death, including blatantly falsifying his report by altering the facts in the presence of witnesses. Whether he saved Jeannie or not is beside the point, for he willingly allowed a serious breach of security, in which Wallace died; it is Sheppard's fault.

On the other hand, he did save Jeannie's life, which certainly counts for something.

I'm just curious to see how the I.O.A. will respond to this. Sheppard now has some serious dirt that the I.O.A. is sure to dig up and exploit.

blue-skyz
December 27th, 2007, 08:40 AM
Sheppard clearly crossed the line of Justice with a capital J; he took an unethical course of action by facilitating Wallace's death, including blatantly falsifying his report by altering the facts in the presence of witnesses. Whether he saved Jeannie or not is beside the point, for he willingly allowed a serious breach of security, in which Wallace died; it is Sheppard's fault.

On the other hand, he did save Jeannie's life, which certainly counts for something.

I'm just curious to see how the I.O.A. will respond to this. Sheppard now has some serious dirt that the I.O.A. is sure to dig up and exploit.
Forget the IOA for the moment.

If Sheppard blatantly falsified a report of an incident that involved the facilitated death of a civilian in custody and a serious breach in security and that incident took place in the presence of witnesses (SGC personnel) and probably security cameras, what would the SGC (Landry) do?

From the end of Miller’s Crossing, Sheppard sitting in Atlantis reading a comic book, the SGC (Landry) evidently did nothing.

I’d be more interested in seeing how the IOA responds to the SGC, because the SGC had to approve Sheppard’s report before the IOA ever saw it. I’d love to see that conversation between Woolsey and Landry.

BTW, I agree, none of this could have happened without Sheppard being a part of it. What he personally did, facilitating Wallace’s suicide, even if it was to save the life of another, would be considered illegal in most places. His actions are morally ambiguous. Sheppard, himself, shows considerable discomfort with the morality of what he has done.

Pajus
December 28th, 2007, 03:05 AM
IMHO, Shep could've been charged with: Severe violation of security protocols, negligence resulting in the death of a civilian person, possibly aiding in espionage against the US military and I guess him giving top secret information to a Wraith for the purpose on saving Jeannie is not exactly okay either

Agent_Dark
December 28th, 2007, 03:43 AM
I’d be more interested in seeing how the IOA responds to the SGC, because the SGC had to approve Sheppard’s report before the IOA ever saw it. I’d love to see that conversation between Woolsey and Landry.
oh yes. the same IOA that, spoilers for Ark of Truth
were secretly willing to sacrifice SG1 and the Odyssey by re-introducing replicators (the bug versions) who were immune to the ARG's. The same replicators that Earth and the Asgard went to alot of trouble to eradicate. I really dont think Landry and the SGC would really care about co-operating with the IOA anymore.

blue-skyz
December 29th, 2007, 09:20 AM
IMHO, Shep could've been charged with: Severe violation of security protocols, negligence resulting in the death of a civilian person, possibly aiding in espionage against the US military and I guess him giving top secret information to a Wraith for the purpose on saving Jeannie is not exactly okay either
I understand the ‘negligence resulting in the death of a civilian.’

Without explanation, I have no idea how the other charges come into play.

oh yes. the same IOA that, spoilers for Ark of Truth
were secretly willing to sacrifice SG1 and the Odyssey by re-introducing replicators (the bug versions) who were immune to the ARG's. The same replicators that Earth and the Asgard went to alot of trouble to eradicate. I really dont think Landry and the SGC would really care about co-operating with the IOA anymore.
I assume that we are still dealing with the same version of the IOA that selected Sam as Leader of Atlantis and sent Woolsey to do her 3 month evaluation.

Whatever, happened during the Arc of Truth SG1 movie either does not concern Stargate:Atlantis or was, supposedly, dealt with before the season began. (unless, of course, Sam took some time off from Atlantis before MC to go rejoin SG1 and change our current perception of the IOA.)