The Corner

Star Trek & The Death Penalty

From a reader:

I know this is out of nowhere, but I was watching a marathon of the original Star Trek on SciFi and saw the episode in which Dr Daystrom created and installed on the Enterprise M5, the computer which could run an entire starship. M5, of course, runs amok, taking control of the Enterprise and killing hundreds on other ships in war games. M5 refuses to let itself “die.”

When Daystrom flips out, Kirk is left to talk M5 into releasing control of the ship. Kirk does so by pointing out that M5 has murdered, that it knows that murder is contrary to “the laws of God and man,” and that the penalty for murder is death. M5 then allows itself to be disconnected.

I guess you never know when the death penalty will come in handy.

Gotta run now–”The Trouble with Tribbles” is starting now.


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