NATION

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The Dark Witch: An Issue Regarding Sentencing

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

What sentence do you vote for? Please justify in light of fairness, personal views and policy goals.

1. No further punishment, warned and released
2
9%
2. A set number of weeks/months/years of mandatory community service
1
4%
3. Hospitalization for mental illness
4
17%
4. ~1-2 years in magical jail
2
9%
5. ~5 years in magical jail
1
4%
6. ~10 years in magical jail
2
9%
7. ~20 years in magical jail
4
17%
8. Life imprisonment
2
9%
9. Death penalty
4
17%
10. Other
1
4%
 
Total votes : 23

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Infected Mushroom
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The Dark Witch: An Issue Regarding Sentencing

Postby Infected Mushroom » Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:55 pm

Please consider the following hypothetical:

You and your twin sister are “First Year” 11-year-olds attending a school of magic. After sneaking out of your dorms, the two of you are suspended from a much-hyped schoolwide trip to a nearby magical village. 1 teacher supervises as you play with a ball in the great hall. Everyone else is gone.

A magically powerful, young Dark Witch breaks into the school to steal a collection of magical relics from the headmistress’ office. The teacher goes to check on the noise and runs into the witch; the witch quickly hexes him unconscious and drags him away.

The witch sees the two of you playing with a ball and decides “not worth my time, it’s only children.” As she turns around she gets hit by a ball and crash lands, screaming over a pile of armored suits.

You and your sister walk up, surprised and concerned:

“Oh no! Sorry about the ball. Hmmm... what’s your name? You’re not a teacher!”

The Dark Witch responds by hexing you down with ropes.

Your sister: “Hey! Why did you DO THAT!”

Your sister draws her wand but the witch waves her hand and sends the wand flying off. Then she lifts your sister into the air with a telekinetic bind. She goes up to your sister and starts making threats when suddenly, your sister’s magical pet hamster jumps out and messes the witch up. Your sister is freed from the bind; she promptly kicks the toy ball into the witch, causing the witch to trip over the fallen armor, fire off a random spell at the roof, and get buried by a cascade of falling bricks. Your sister frees you from the ropes.

The witch re-emerges from the bricks; enraged, she comes after you.

You run into a classroom and hide. The witch enters and starts issuing threats while using magic to flip the chairs and desks around. While hiding, you randomly touch a silver cup and teleport right in front of the witch (“oh s****!”)

The witch turns and hexes you with a magical projectile. However, it hits the silver cup and bounces off... it strikes a magical mask and there’s a secondary rebound... it comes full circle and the witch gets hit by her own magic. KA BOOM!

While the witch takes heavy magical damage and runs around howling, the two of you hide inside a magical cabinet. The witch is really angry and rushes up to the cabinet, yanking it open after issuing a magical command. What does she see? Your grinning sister throwing her a giant cage filled with pixies (“Caaaaaaaatch!”). The witch catches it but it’s not a winning move. The mob of pixies come out of the cage, drag her into the air and proceed to beat her up.

You and your sister escape again. The witch summons a pair of giant glowing phantom hands and this flying monstrosity chases you all over the school. You run into a classroom with runes and a silver cross and this seems to ward off the hands.

The witch teleports in again. She promptly traps the both of you in a telekinetic bind. Instead of getting on with it, she decides to talk about all the ways she can make you suffer... finally settling on drawing a magic drain symbol on the ground which she will use to permanently remove all of your magic. The witch is literally one word away from ultimate victory. Your sister then tells her that she’s not scared because while the witch may be powerful she’s just “an evil woman” and she “learned in school that good will always triumph over evil.” The witch is amused at this childish delusion and asks how she expects that to happen.

The hamster returns, bringing with him other hamster friends from the common rooms. Just as the witch is about to drain your magic, the hamsters rush in and attack the witch by surprise... causing you to be freed from her bind. You grab your wand and fire off a hex at her; the Dark Witch is blasted back and collides into a barrel of Holy Iron, setting off a further explosion that sends her flying up and down... crash landing through a trap door leading into a magical watery dimension filled with magical electric eels...

ZAAAAAAAAAAAAP!

A thunder blast shoots out of the trapdoor... then the dazed and stunned witch flies out of it, lightning cackling throughout her and her entire form spinning several 360s. She crash lands on the opposite side of the classroom. A curtain behind her slides off and a magical mirror is activated, sucking her inside and trapping her in.

The headmistress and the teachers rush into the room, ready to fight but they see you have already defeated the Dark Witch, now trapped in the mirror. The teachers recognize the witch as a former student who went to this school 10 years ago and they casually comment on it (“she was always a cheeky one...” “wow there are signs but you can never tell which ones will go bad.”) The witch is then extracted from the mirror in a levitating bind and promptly drained of her magical powers using the very magic drain trap she created herself. Then the teachers feed her a Truth Serum and it causes to speak against her will. She’s prompted to give her name, confirm her past attendance at the school, admit that she broke into the school to try and steal magical relics, that she picked this day because she thought the school would be empty, that she attacked a teacher and tried to attack two students. She’s then made to give a comprehensive step-by-step narration on how she lost to two 11-year-olds.

The witch is then moved to another classroom and is forced to do lines from the blackboard. The message reads:

“I must not break into a school to steal things, hex teachers and students, vandalize school property, and perform harmful, dark magic. I am very sorry for what I have done and I will not do it again.”

The 27-year-old witch is made to write this out 1,000 times at a desk. The witch is told by the headmistress that if she doesn’t cooperate, she will get extended timeout in the mirror. You, your sister, and other students are tasked with keeping her on track and the headmistress callously discards a few pages she completed, saying the writing needs to be legible. You and your sister point out the occasional errors in spelling, punctuation, and word order. The sullen witch eventually finishes writing but it takes many hours.

The Magical Police enter, handcuff her, and march her out of the school and cart her off to magical jail.

In accordance with the rules of the wizarding world, you, as an affected party member to the crimes of the witch, get a vote on the sentencing. Please consider the damage the witch has already taken and the nature of her crimes as you interpret the narrative, when you decide what is fair.

Your options:
1. No further punishment, warned and released
2. A set number of weeks/months/years of mandatory community service
3. Hospitalization for mental illness
4. ~1-2 years in magical jail
5. ~5 years in magical jail
6. ~10 years in magical jail
7. ~20 years in magical jail
8. Life imprisonment
9. Death penalty
10. Other


The witch has stolen other things and has non-lethally hexed a number of other parties but has a clean record in the justice system.

Please assume that the school’s actions were lawful in the world of the wizards.

Also, while there are sentencing guidelines, the hypothetical is interested in what you think is fair and why.

I would go with 1 years with parole possibility. It sounds to me like this is break and enter and assault (the actual theft part wasn’t even actualized). I’m not sure I’d make out an attempted murder here. I’m also factoring in all the damage already taken to person and pride.
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Galloism » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:08 pm

Personally I like how there’s a breaking and entering, attempted grand larceny, multiple attempted murders, extreme destruction of property, assault with a deadly weapon, at least a few counts of kidnapping/false imprisonment (from the binding spells)…

And the first idea was writing lines on a blackboard.
Last edited by Galloism on Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:21 pm

Galloism wrote:Personally I like how there’s a breaking and entering, attempted grand larceny, multiple attempted murders, extreme destruction of property, assault with a deadly weapon, at least a few counts of kidnapping/false imprisonment (from the binding spells)…

And the first idea was writing lines on a blackboard.


Eh?

So then what’s your predisposition with regards to the sentencing vote? You think this is a case of life/death?

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Postby The Free Joy State » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:23 pm

Galloism wrote:Personally I like how there’s a breaking and entering, attempted grand larceny, multiple attempted murders, extreme destruction of property, assault with a deadly weapon, at least a few counts of kidnapping/false imprisonment (from the binding spells)…

And the first idea was writing lines on a blackboard.

Their back-up plan is a time out.

My god, if she had succeeded in murdering someone at this school, I bet they'd have sent her to her room without supper.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:30 pm

The Free Joy State wrote:
Galloism wrote:Personally I like how there’s a breaking and entering, attempted grand larceny, multiple attempted murders, extreme destruction of property, assault with a deadly weapon, at least a few counts of kidnapping/false imprisonment (from the binding spells)…

And the first idea was writing lines on a blackboard.

Their back-up plan is a time out.

My god, if she had succeeded in murdering someone at this school, I bet they'd have sent her to her room without supper.


How would you as headmistress have handled it then?

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Postby The Free Joy State » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:37 pm

Infected Mushroom wrote:
The Free Joy State wrote:Their back-up plan is a time out.

My god, if she had succeeded in murdering someone at this school, I bet they'd have sent her to her room without supper.


How would you as headmistress have handled it then?

Well, if a grown adult comes to a school and terrorises children, it would be a matter for the police.

I would call the (magic) police, give them her particulars and let them deal with her. I would hope she receives a sentence that lets her know that terrorising children is not acceptable.

Then, I would look at what holes in school security had allowed the witch to get in in the first place.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:38 pm

The Free Joy State wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
How would you as headmistress have handled it then?

Well, if a grown adult comes to a school and terrorises children, it would be a matter for the police.

I would call the police, give them her particulars and let them deal with her. I would hope she receives a sentence that lets her know that terrorising children is not acceptable.

Then, I would look at what holes in school security had allowed the witch to get in in the first place.


And in your view what ballpark would you say the years should be in?

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Postby The Free Joy State » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:01 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
The Free Joy State wrote:Well, if a grown adult comes to a school and terrorises children, it would be a matter for the police.

I would call the police, give them her particulars and let them deal with her. I would hope she receives a sentence that lets her know that terrorising children is not acceptable.

Then, I would look at what holes in school security had allowed the witch to get in in the first place.


And in your view what ballpark would you say the years should be in?

Well, the witch threw projectiles at minor children and bound them (which, incidentally, is considered a false imprisonment); her reluctance also suggests a lack of remorse... these would be generally considered aggravating factors; she also committed burglary and criminal damage while armed with a deadly weapon (her own magic), and she herself is of the age to have a fully developed prefrontal cortex.

I would say ten years, with a recommendation to not be considered for release until at least two-thirds of the sentence (in the UK, burglary alone can get 14, while burglary with an offensive weapon can get life; and criminal damage ten; false imprisonment also carries twelve years). I would have probably leaned more towards a more lenient sentence, but then the witch attacked the children and falsely imprisoned them.

EDIT: Although, if the witch has not been psychiatrically assessed, that should be done. She cannot be just "hospitalised for mental illness" (as one option has it) on the off-chance, but were psychiatrists to decide she was experiencing mental health issues that led to her crime (because that is far from true for all or even most mental health issues), I would not object to her being detained in a secure unit for as long as it took for her to be helped.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Kilobugya » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:11 am

Voluntarily assaulting children and risking serious harm to them / killing them is very serious offense. So I would say "~10 years in magical jail". But it might be "Hospitalization for mental illness" if doctors diagnose some real, serious mental illness in her.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:11 am

The Free Joy State wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
And in your view what ballpark would you say the years should be in?

Well, the witch threw projectiles at minor children and bound them (which, incidentally, is considered a false imprisonment); her reluctance also suggests a lack of remorse... these would be generally considered aggravating factors; she also committed burglary and criminal damage while armed with a deadly weapon (her own magic), and she herself is of the age to have a fully developed prefrontal cortex.

I would say ten years, with a recommendation to not be considered for release until at least two-thirds of the sentence (in the UK, burglary alone can get 14, while burglary with an offensive weapon can get life; and criminal damage ten; false imprisonment also carries twelve years). I would have probably leaned more towards a more lenient sentence, but then the witch attacked the children and falsely imprisoned them.

EDIT: Although, if the witch has not been psychiatrically assessed, that should be done. She cannot be just "hospitalised for mental illness" (as one option has it) on the off-chance, but were psychiatrists to decide she was experiencing mental health issues that led to her crime (because that is far from true for all or even most mental health issues), I would not object to her being detained in a secure unit for as long as it took for her to be helped.


Hmmm... but does having magic count as a deadly weapon?

Wouldn’t that be the same as having a very large physical constitution and muscles?

Also, how does it work in the UK? Would the years be added up together or applied together in some with some reduced additive coefficient?

Why 10 and not 14?

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Postby Kilobugya » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:17 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:Hmmm... but does having magic count as a deadly weapon?


Having it, no. Using it, yes. Unless it's involuntary use, like Harry Potter inflating his aunt in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Wouldn’t that be the same as having a very large physical constitution and muscles?

Infected Mushroom wrote:Also, how does it work in the UK? Would the years be added up together or applied together in some with some reduced additive coefficient?


In most of Europe (not exactly sure in UK) if you get sentenced for several crimes committed at the same time (ie, trespassing, breaking property, death threats, theft, ... all happening in the same robbery attempt) you only get one global sentence, you don't addition them.

Infected Mushroom wrote:Why 10 and not 14?


No one was badly wounded, even if it's through luck, the final outcome still matters. Giving lighter penalty to "attempts" than to actually hurting people makes sense, it'll push potential criminal to show restraints, to try to not inflict too much harm if they can do otherwise, and therefore decreasing society's violence level.
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Postby Picairn » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:20 am

Feels like I'm watching Gravity Falls: A Harry Potter Special (energetic, idealistic sister with a pet hamster?).

The appropriate punishment is, of course, trapping the witch in a solid block of magical peanut brittle, with me and my sister dragging it around the school on our brooms before throwing it down a bottomless pit.

Or 20 years in magical prison. Works for me.
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Postby The Free Joy State » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:22 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
The Free Joy State wrote:Well, the witch threw projectiles at minor children and bound them (which, incidentally, is considered a false imprisonment); her reluctance also suggests a lack of remorse... these would be generally considered aggravating factors; she also committed burglary and criminal damage while armed with a deadly weapon (her own magic), and she herself is of the age to have a fully developed prefrontal cortex.

I would say ten years, with a recommendation to not be considered for release until at least two-thirds of the sentence (in the UK, burglary alone can get 14, while burglary with an offensive weapon can get life; and criminal damage ten; false imprisonment also carries twelve years). I would have probably leaned more towards a more lenient sentence, but then the witch attacked the children and falsely imprisoned them.

EDIT: Although, if the witch has not been psychiatrically assessed, that should be done. She cannot be just "hospitalised for mental illness" (as one option has it) on the off-chance, but were psychiatrists to decide she was experiencing mental health issues that led to her crime (because that is far from true for all or even most mental health issues), I would not object to her being detained in a secure unit for as long as it took for her to be helped.


Hmmm... but does having magic count as a deadly weapon?

Wouldn’t that be the same as having a very large physical constitution and muscles?

It would be more similar to a shotgun. Something that can blast someone at a distance.

Also, how does it work in the UK? Would the years be added up together or applied together in some with some reduced additive coefficient?

Why 10 and not 14?

Sentencing can be concurrent or consecutive in the UK. There are no fixed rules. It is a matter of what is judged most just and proportionate.

I nearly bumped it up to twelve in line with the most serious offence -- the false imprisonment of the children -- but ultimately decided the detention was short enough that ten was better.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:45 am

Can someone give me the TL;DR? I stopped reading after about two paragraphs in
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Postby The Free Joy State » Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:28 am

Thermodolia wrote:Can someone give me the TL;DR? I stopped reading after about two paragraphs in

You are in a magical school. A 27 year old witch (former student) breaks in, damages school property, magically attacks two children, hurls projectiles, chases the children around the building (plotting vengeance), then corners them and ties them up and -- after deliberating on all the ways she could torture them -- decides to remove their magic.

She is captured and you get to pick the sentence.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:47 am

Picairn wrote:Feels like I'm watching Gravity Falls: A Harry Potter Special (energetic, idealistic sister with a pet hamster?).

The appropriate punishment is, of course, trapping the witch in a solid block of magical peanut brittle, with me and my sister dragging it around the school on our brooms before throwing it down a bottomless pit.

Or 20 years in magical prison. Works for me.


I’ve never seen that. Is Gravity Falls good?

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Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:56 am

The Free Joy State wrote:
Thermodolia wrote:Can someone give me the TL;DR? I stopped reading after about two paragraphs in

You are in a magical school. A 27 year old witch (former student) breaks in, damages school property, magically attacks two children, hurls projectiles, chases the children around the building (plotting vengeance), then corners them and ties them up and -- after deliberating on all the ways she could torture them -- decides to remove their magic.

She is captured and you get to pick the sentence.

Death penalty
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:54 am

Thermodolia wrote:
The Free Joy State wrote:You are in a magical school. A 27 year old witch (former student) breaks in, damages school property, magically attacks two children, hurls projectiles, chases the children around the building (plotting vengeance), then corners them and ties them up and -- after deliberating on all the ways she could torture them -- decides to remove their magic.

She is captured and you get to pick the sentence.

Death penalty


Bit harsh?

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Postby Infected Mushroom » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:01 am

I'm not getting the sense that using magic (without a wand) would qualify as assault with a deadly weapon.

Just a quick search:

https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/c ... Weapon.htm

An assault with a deadly weapon occurs when an attacker accompanies a physical attack with a physical object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death, by virtue of its design or construction. Because the use of a dangerous object creates a risk of such serious consequences, all states classify assault with a deadly weapon as a felony.


It would seem improper to characterize magic as a "physical object." It's not really an object, it's a quality like "being strong" or "being really fast." You're magical... or you're not.

Within the context of the wizarding world and wizarding laws, having magic would be the default (and the laws would be written to reflect that), it wouldn't be considered a weapon right?

Even if she did use a wand (which she didn't because she was so powerful she could just use her hands), a wand is a fundamental tool to a magic user and wouldn't be classified as a weapon.
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Page » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:02 am

I'm going with just call it a day because the whole thing is more silly than anything. I don't just mean the magic angle, if you remove all the magic and do some slapstick Home Alone muggle version of it, it's still pretty frivolous.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:04 am

Page wrote:I'm going with just call it a day because the whole thing is more silly than anything. I don't just mean the magic angle, if you remove all the magic and do some slapstick Home Alone muggle version of it, it's still pretty frivolous.


I was playing along with the theme of "Aid will always be given at Hogwarts to those who need it" and giving it a slapstick turn.

The whole thing was inspired by the sheer ridiculousness of how Voldemort couldn't take down a school of kids.

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Postby Esthe » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:08 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Page wrote:I'm going with just call it a day because the whole thing is more silly than anything. I don't just mean the magic angle, if you remove all the magic and do some slapstick Home Alone muggle version of it, it's still pretty frivolous.


I was playing along with the theme of "Aid will always be given at Hogwarts to those who need it" and giving it a slapstick turn.

The whole thing was inspired by the sheer ridiculousness of how Voldemort couldn't take down a school of kids.

Technically most of them were teens, which could’ve given him even more of a chance.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:30 am

Esthe wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
I was playing along with the theme of "Aid will always be given at Hogwarts to those who need it" and giving it a slapstick turn.

The whole thing was inspired by the sheer ridiculousness of how Voldemort couldn't take down a school of kids.

Technically most of them were teens, which could’ve given him even more of a chance.


They had teachers helping too but still... Hogwarts is a major military target? It just seems a bit much...

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Thermodolia
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Posts: 66259
Founded: Oct 07, 2011
New York Times Democracy

Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:03 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Thermodolia wrote:Death penalty


Bit harsh?

She attacked children and then decided to torture them. That’s more than enough for be executed
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>The Sons of Adam: I'd crown myself monarch... cuz why not?
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RIP Dya

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The Two Jerseys
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Posts: 16438
Founded: Jun 07, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Two Jerseys » Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:15 am

Anyone dumb enough to get Home Aloned by a couple kids deserves the death penalty.
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