Sacagawea: Laws & Law Enforcement
In Sacagawea, there are few laws – except for those that concern property. Penalties are harsh. beginning with flogging, or a day tied to a post in the Market. The more serious penalties include branding, mutilation or death. Citizens can be exiled for crimes against the City or the Empire.
Imprisonment is a considered a luxury – appropriate only for kidnappers and rapists (like the Breeders). Most such crimes never reach the Judges and are dealt with by duels or assassinations.
Duels are technically illegal within city limits – but are typically ignored by the Sacagawea Police. Only knives may be used for a duel and the participants must agree on the limitations of the fight (fights to the death are rare).
The official militia is the Sacagawea Police, who are a paramilitary force equipped with pistols, shotguns and submachineguns – they are also responsible for manning the defenses of the City and have access to some Heavy machine Guns and a few 107mm mortars (howtars). They have a great deal of power within the city- and are considered one of the “big 3” (along with “The Rich” and “The Mobs”).
All citizens have the right to a “speedy” trial (usually within 72 hours) and – if the parties cannot agree ‘out of court’ – are tried by a panel of 3 judges. One judge is chosen by the City, one by the defendant and one by the aggrieved party. A unanimous verdict cannot be appealed. A majority verdict can only be appealed if new evidence is produced.
Judges are selected from a panel of 20; all are citizens (there are no age limits or re-election limits) These judges must stand for election or re-election every 5 years. This is a rolling process which means that 4 Judgeships are up to election every year. All citizens can vote in this election.