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Author Topic: Are the judges nicer these days?  (Read 604 times)

JayzusB.Christ

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Are the judges nicer these days?
« on: 10 November, 2020, 08:41:14 PM »
The 'Middle class in MC1' thread made me think of another aspect of our favourite future city.  I remember, and I was only a kid at the time, we used to see things like the Judges divorcing married couples without their consent (Simp about the House / Tales from Mega City 1), knocking citizens unconscious for looking like they might be thinking about committing crimes (Sunday Night Fever), giving citizens terrifying nightmares for not towing the Department line (Reasons to be Fearful) and cubing citizens for silly ideas about using Judge uniforms for advertising (Daily Star Dredds).

Now, I'm not really talking about the democracy thing - it was easy to see Dredd's slow but sure development of an understanding of why citizens might oppose dictatorship - but just the fact that the judges don't seem half as harsh these days (+122 years, of course). 

Now, maybe it's because stories are focused more on the Judges these days than the Cits, and we don't see as much of what's going on with the latter, but it's hard to imagine someone like Beeny storming in and forcing a married couple to divorce.  Also, there's no way the people would love the Mechanismo lads half as much if they were dishing out the same kind of nastiness Dredd and co used to.  In fact, it's hard to see, say, the Silver administration even giving a flying spug whether the citizens like the robots or not.

Judges are even nicer to each other these days - more first names are used, and illicit bedroom action usually seems to be punished with a rap on the knuckles rather than a trip to Titan.

Maybe it's a case of progstalgia, but I kind of miss the old, harsh days.  Has this ever been mentioned in the story?  (I think the celibacy thing has; I do remember Dredd disapproving of how attitudes towards it have softened a bit.)
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Richard

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Re: Are the judges nicer these days?
« Reply #1 on: 10 November, 2020, 08:57:38 PM »
You never went to Titan just for that, but yes you do have a point. But I think it has been mentioned in the stories a couple of times. I vaguely remember a Wagner story where Dredd wonders if the city is going to return to "the bad old days" after several years of Hershey's administration (Tour of Duty maybe?).

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Are the judges nicer these days?
« Reply #2 on: 10 November, 2020, 09:02:03 PM »

Judges are always nice, Creep.

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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Are the judges nicer these days?
« Reply #3 on: 10 November, 2020, 10:35:06 PM »
You never went to Titan just for that,

I seem to remember some story with a judge called Vance Sladek caught on video having an illicit affair.   He ended up dying by Dredd's hand, but wasn't he trying to escape a Titan sentence when he decided to put up a fight?  Or had he committed other crimes too?  Or was he just going to be fired from the Judges?  I can't quite remember now.

The Daily Star Dredds showed a few very extreme punishments, such as Dredd sending a cadet to the cubes for slapping a perp after he'd been cuffed.  All done for black comedy purposes, but it was kind of fun to read.
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Richard

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Re: Are the judges nicer these days?
« Reply #4 on: 10 November, 2020, 11:52:44 PM »
Sladek survived and was sent to Titan for murder.

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Are the judges nicer these days?
« Reply #5 on: 11 November, 2020, 12:21:26 AM »
Ahh. Thanks, there were gaps in my memory there.

I think I remember our Bish-OP in the 'Interrogation' page of the 90s Megazine saying that a judge would get 20 on Titan for sex, and even then I was thinking 'hang on, that can't be right'.  So yeah, it seems you just get thrown off the force (but reinstated if a senior judge decides you're worth your salt, like deMarco was).
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sheridan

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Re: Are the judges nicer these days?
« Reply #6 on: 11 November, 2020, 09:49:32 AM »
Also, there's no way the people would love the Mechanismo lads half as much if they were dishing out the same kind of nastiness Dredd and co used to.  In fact, it's hard to see, say, the Silver administration even giving a flying spug whether the citizens like the robots or not.
Quote
Maybe it's a case of progstalgia, but I kind of miss the old, harsh days.  Has this ever been mentioned in the story?

I don't have the progs to hand but I believe it's been explicitly mentioned that the robots are programmed to be nicer to the citizens than the human judges are - part of the reason that the mega-citizens like them.

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Are the judges nicer these days?
« Reply #7 on: 11 November, 2020, 07:59:22 PM »
That's definitely true - they have empathy programmed into them whereas a few years on the streets would probably burn that out of a human judge.  (Again, you see it with cops in real life.)

But the robots still have to enforce the same laws; which still don't seem as ruthless as they used to be.
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”