Law of the Twelve Colonies (TOS)
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The law of the Twelve Colonies of Man is unique.
Even in the Fleet after the Cylon attack, the laws of the Colonies and their mechanisms have remained intact.
The highest sentence that can be meted out by the Colonial system is life imprisonment. No death penalty exists.
Colonial society views various activities as criminal and prosecutable, including:
Premeditated human termination
Premeditated human termination, better known as murder, is punishable by imprisonment.
Illegal presences aboard ships in the Fleet
People on ships in the Fleet under assumed names (like Elias, Chella and Karibdis), having avoided being logged in the Fleet computer, may receive minor punishments.
The result of a self-defense plea, when it involves the termination (death) of an individual, results in a suspended sentence. To those in the Colonial Fleet who are charged with this, they are dismissed from the service.
Those found guilty of treason can be imprisoned for life, as is the case with Baltar ("War of the Gods, Part II", "Murder on the Rising Star", et al.)
There are different roles in the Colonial justice system, namely:
- Opposer, which acts as the prosecution
- Protector, which acts as the defense for the accused.
The role of "Chief Opposer" is apparently obtained by any respected, seasoned Opposer, such as Sire Solon.
Both Opposers and Protectors have the unique ability to investigate crimes without the need of a separate investigator. Their activities include the collection of evidence for their case and the ability to question witnesses and related parties.
Chief Opposers can also receive and enter in the plea of the accused, regardless of whether or not they are guilty. It is unknown if this ability is shared with lower-level Opposers. Furthermore, they can offer alternatives to the accused to mitigate their sentences, such as pleas of self-defense when faced with termination charges.
In addition, Opposers and Protectors can be interviewed by Inter-Fleet Broadcasting and other press junkets to talk about the merits of the case before the tribunal is convened.
Colonial judicial proceedings are called tribunals. They are held 10 centars after a plea from the accused is formally entered. Postponements cannot be granted under the circumstances of premeditated human termination charges.
When faced with charges of premeditated termination, the suspect or accused party is held in detention until the tribunal.
The tribunal is convened to hear out the case. The tribunal, which judges the case, consists of three people that hear out the arguments of both sides (TOS: "Murder on the Rising Star").