Give and Take
Give and Take
Summary: Zaharis and Salin talk capital punishment, and an off-the-books appeal becomes a first step.
Date: 28 ACH
Related Logs: Execution Marine Style, Eye For An Eye

JAG Office Carina - Main Level
28 ACH 6735 Souls

This office is a rather plain affair with a pair of desks placed at right angles to one another in a corner of the room, with computer terminals on each desk, file cabinets, still new from the crates, sit along one wall, while in the middle of the room is a collection of four chairs. Finishing off the room is a new coffee maker sitting on a table near a sink with a collection of cups bearing the seal of the Battlestar Genesis on them.

All this having to hike across ships to find personnel. Military these days. Zaharis finally located the JAG office on this side of the fleet, stopping a departing secretary by the door to ask if Salin was still in. The man points the CMO towards the JAG Major's desk and then slips out, late for dinner, and Zaharis continues on inside. "Major Altair?"

It's a moment or two after Salin hears the voice that he's actually looking up from his paperwork to give a quick nod towards, Zaharis, "Doc." A hand lifts, motioning towards the multitude of chairs, "Come in and have a seat. What can I do for you?"

Zaharis pulls one of said chairs closer, sitting as invited. He raises an eyebrow as he glances around, noting the stuff in here from the new file cabinets to the nice coffee maker. "So has JAG completely moved over to the Carina now?"

Salin gives a soft laugh before shaking his head slightly, "Not exactly, but the thought had crossed my mind. We just needed to be available for civilians and since they can't be cleared for the Genesis or the PAS, we had to make sure we were available. Which means, we spend a fair bit of our time here."

Zaharis smiles. "Admit it, you're just trying to escape the military mess halls." He sits back and settles an ankle over his knee, relaxing his shoulders. "I won't take up too much of your time, Major. I wanted to have a conversation with you about where your department and mine have recently intersected, as it is a concern. About capital punishment."

A faint chuckle, Salin gives a quick wink before nodding his head, "Hey, eating at the Crab House, rather then the mess hall, is nice little perk. What can I say?" This is followed up with a grin, though that fades at the mention of the capital punishment. To this, a brow is arched, "Oh? Is there some form of problem, Doc?"

Zaharis half-smiles at Salin. "Wouldn't you be a little worried if your Chief Medical Officer didn't have a few concerns about killing people, Altair?" He rests his hands on his leg. "I'm not here to attack you for the decision on Mercer. What I do find myself concerned over is knowing that there are still other prisoners in those brigs, in there for a variety of reasons. And what I've come here seeking a frank answer on is where the fleet's justice system intends to draw its lines."

Salin leans forward slightly, lifting his hands to clasp them together on the desk, "I was wondering when I'd be hearing from you, actually. Got Captain Reighner's letter already, thought it only a matter of time till you meandered down." He offers a slight smile, though his shoulders lift in a slight shrug, "The laws are clear, Doc. Treason, Mutiny and Capital Offenses such as pre-meditative murder are all punishable by a death sentenace. I fully intend to follow the laws and the punishments that have already been established."

Zaharis nods slightly. "I support Captain Reighner's basic stance, when it comes down to the sheer fact that I do not condone capital punishment. The larger issue is a bigger fight than can be handled today, but in the meantime I have one thing that I believe you can address. And that is that if the death sentence is called for, that it be done ethically. As ethically as taking a life can be said to be done." That's added a little drily. "Gaelan's conduct during the execution was concerning, as was the fact that having a medical consult present was not a factor until I made it one."

For the moemnt, Salin simply listens, hands clasped loosely together atop the desk. Finally, there's a nod of his head, "Doctor, I understand your concerns and I'll take them into advisement. At this point in time, the punishments will stand. Firing Squad or Airlock. During a time of war, both are acceptable forms of capital punishment under the laws." Finally, he begins to lean back in his seat, settling his hands in his lap, "I understand that there are drugs that could be used, Doctor, but we can not afford to be wasting possible supplies on those that have been sentenced to death."

Zaharis shakes his head slightly, after listening to that. His fingers fold on his leg. "Airlocking a human being is not acceptable, Major."

"That, Doctor, is something that you can take up with Commander Regas. JAG reviews the evidence and based on the nature of the crime, the evidence provided and other factors, dictates the form of punishment, within the confines of the laws." Salin's giving a firm nod to accompany that statement, "Treason allows for use of the Airlock or a firing squad during times of war. You may not like it. I may not like it. But it is within the confines of Military Justice."

"Don't give me that, Altair." Zaharis' head again makes a slight shake. "I don't care whether or not airlocking is on the books as 'acceptable', JAG makes the choice of method. And pushing a living person out an airlock to /suffocate slowly/ in space is cruelty. It's barbaric and it's unethical."

There is no smile now, nor a smirk as the lawyer listens. Instead, there is nothing more then another nod of his head, "Unfortunately, Doctor, it's never been proven to be unethical or cruel. But, I am not going to debate that particular aspect of it." Salin tilts his chair back just a hair, hands remaining settled in his lap, "What would you suggest, Jesse, as an alternative?"

"You're giving me commandspeak bullshit, Salin." Zaharis' voice isn't cold, just frank. "I'm not going to debate it either; I'm going to flat-out tell you. Asphyxiation is slow. To die of lack of oxygen can take up to ten minutes, with up to five minutes for loss of consciousness. Don't even attempt to tell me that isn't cruelty." He exhales through his nose. "You're asking me to suggest better ways to take a life? I can't do that. I am telling you that this method is utterly unacceptable."

"I'm doing my job, Jesse. I'm doing exactly what it is that I have to do. I take no joy in seeing someone put to death, but if that is what is called for, then so be it. I will see that it is carried out." Salin is leaning forward again, elbows coming to rest lightly atop his knee's as he steeples his fingers before him, "You want me to effectively ban the use of Airlocking as a form of Capital Punishment. I'm going to need something to replace it with, Jesse. Frak, I'm waiting for the Commander to tell me to stop wasting bullets on people, for they'll be in short supply. Find me an alternative. One that allay's your medical and moral ethics, and I'll see what I can do. Beyond that? My hands are tied." He's leaning back again, turning his chair away from Zaharis and towards one of the shelves containing books, "Though, it would be a shame if someone put forth a request for a hearing on the ethics of Airlocking as a form of Capital Punishment and could provide medical and scientific findings to back up their claims. For the duration of the hearing and until it was concluded, the courts would have to order the use of airlocking as an 'illegal' form of execution."

Zaharis listens to all that. His eyes shift to the books and then back to Salin, and to the last part of that his head makes a simple acknowledging nod before he speaks. "This isn't about you, Salin. I want you to do your job. But at the same time, understand that I have to do mine. Yes, this will have to go through all the legal leg-humping necessary, and what it shame it will be. Especially as there is no method of willfully ending the life of a human being that can or should allay medical and ethical morals. We will have to see." He sits up slightly, looking at Salin's face. "But in the meantime, your hands may be tied where the books are concerned but you've said yourself — you have a choice. You have a choice not to use a method that is essentially torture. You have freedom there; take that responsibility for now. That's all I'm asking."

Turning his attention back towards Zaharis, Salin is giving a simple nod of his head, "I entirely understand, Jesse. We are both bound by the confines of our profession." He allows his hands to reclasp in his lap as he leans back in the chair once more, "I will keep what you've said, in mind, Jesse. For now, I will see to it that a firing squad is used where it can be. We can hope, I suppose, that I won't have to pass any more sentences of this particular nature down."

"Yeah, we'll hope," Zaharis replies, without much actual conviction. "Thank you." He lifts his chin slightly and then nods. "I'm sure we'll be talking about this again in some arena, but for now I can let you get back to your work."

There's another nod from Salin as he unclasps his hands, settling them on the top of the desk, "No problem, Jesse. Just wish there was more that I could offer you." He shifts his attention down to the paperwork on his desk, sorting through it for a moment before looking back up, "Work. It never ends. I hope you're less busy, then I am. But on that note, I should finish some things up. Then, I'm probably going to have to stop by and speak with you again on a few things."

Zaharis stands up, straightening the bottom of his blue officer's jacket. "My office is always open. Want to give me a heads up on what you need to takl about, so I can have things ready?"

Rising as well, Salin doesn't tug on his jacket, for it would simply get bunched and rumpled once he sat back down. It's only now that he offers a faint smile, "Your Psyche, Lieutenant Sloan. Need to speak with you on a few of the issues that could possibably arise from it."

Zaharis' mouth straightens, and he nods. "Of course. Sooner rather than later if possible. I'm currently working on her evaluation for return to duty."

"Oh, it won't effect her returnt to duty, or rather, it shouldn't. Simply need to clear a few things up with you in regards to it. I'll probably drop by later this evening, or first thing tomorrow. I need to finish up some things." Salin is offering quick nod at that, "I'll bring the scotch. Or the whiskey. Or something better then coffee."

Zaharis ahs, looking mildly relieved at the explanation. "Good, good. Even better on the whiskey." He smirks slightly. "I'll talk to you later, then." He takes a step back from the desk before turning to head out.

The smirk is returned and Salin is lowering himself back down into his chair, "Sounds good, Jesse. Just going to go over a few things and refresh myself on something, and then I'll be along." With that, he's turning towards one of the cabinets, obviously to retrieve something from within.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License