Megan trial TAS

The crew of the Enterprise on trial

A trial was a way to settle a dispute. In a trial all participating parties presented information (in the form of evidence) in a formal setting. With most species within the United Federation of Planets, this was done in a court, before a judge, jury or arbiter. A trial decision was called a verdict and is considered a just resolution to a matter. A trial was generally distinguished from a hearing in that it was usually more formal and generally takes into consideration many more elements. Ultimately the trial was ended with the presiding individuals issuing judgment in the form of a ruling or sentencing. (TOS: "Court Martial")

Purpose of trialEdit

A trial consisted of a prosecutor and defender who represent the disputing parties. In most cases a trial was used to determine guilt or innocence of a defendant, while the prosecutor attempted to prove the defendant as guilty. On some worlds the trial was simply a show trial, a form of entertainment. Under Cardassian law, guilt was confirmed prior to Court proceedings. (DS9: "The Wire")

Sometimes a trial was a last resort when other possibilities were exhausted. When the Federation received an extradition request, a hearing was held to determine if enough evidence exists to warrant a trial. If it is decided that sufficient evidence exists, the charged individual is turned over to the other government and then is subject to their legal system. The Bajorans handled extradition requests in a similar fashion. (TNG: "A Matter of Perspective"; DS9: "Dax")

At Klingon trials, lawyers were called advocates. (ENT: "Judgment")

Notable trialsEdit

Q junior trial

Judge Q (center)

The Q Continuum featured a Judge Q who was a high ranking official with the ability to control the powers and lives of any Q in the continuum – ranging from removal of powers to change in form. In 2377, Judge Q determined the future of Q's son, Q, after he underwent testing by the crew of the USS Voyager, following a streak of misbehaving and trouble making. After bumpy testing with problems and successes, Judge Q sentenced "Junior" to serve his life as a Human. This sentence was eventually changed by persuasion from Q, and his son's powers were restored. (VOY: "Q2")

Data takes the stand

Data on trial in 2365

The Salem witch trials were a series of trials held through 1691 in Salem, Massachusetts, during a period when individuals were persecuted for the alleged crime of "witchcraft". The Megans, a group of aliens from Megas-Tu who tried to help Humans with the art of wizardry, settled in Salem after realizing that Humans only wished to use them to serve greed and lust. They chose to live their lives there as "normal men" to avoid the accusations of being "devils, warlocks and evil sorcerers." Unfortunately, while living in Salem, several of the Megans made mistakes and used their powers, and were "burned for it as witches." Those Megans who escaped the witch trials were forced to leave Earth and return to their homeworld, where they remained bitter and fearful of Humans. In 2269, the USS Enterprise made contact with the Megans, but due to the Megans distrust of Humans, the Enterprise crew was placed in a recreation of a Salem witch trial. (TAS: "The Magicks of Megas-Tu")

In the first draft script of the Star Trek: Enterprise first season episode "Fortunate Son", Ryan Cross had to face a trial on Earth following his actions against the Nausicaan pirates.

Lack of trial Edit

On some worlds such as Earth, the lack of trial was considered unjust. On other worlds it was not normal to hold a trial. The Rakhari considered all crimes as serious but had no trials on their homeworld. Enemies of the government were punished by killing their family members. (DS9: "Vortex")

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