The Kobayashi Maru

“No one passes this test.” Here is more, from Wikipedia:

The Kobayashi Maru is a test in the fictional Star Trek universe. It is a Starfleet training exercise designed to test the character of cadets in the command track at Starfleet Academy … The notional primary goal of the exercise is to rescue the civilian vessel Kobayashi Maru in a simulated battle with the Klingons. The disabled ship is located in the Klingon Neutral Zone, and any Starfleet ship entering the zone would cause an interstellar incident. The approaching cadet crew must decide whether to attempt rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew – endangering their own ship and lives – or leave the Kobayashi Maru to certain destruction. If the cadet chooses to attempt rescue, the simulation is designed to guarantee that the ship is destroyed with the loss of all crew members.

Aren’t the members of the Ferguson grand jury finding themselves in this type of no-win situation? By the way, should we create a “legal prediction market” for placing bets on the outcome of civil and criminal cases?

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
This entry was posted in Ethics, Paradoxes, Science Fiction and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Kobayashi Maru

  1. shelbynfla says:

    I believe that was covered in War games:
    Professor, The only winning move is… not to play…. how about a nice game of Chess?

    • enrique says:

      Great point … Could this be why so few people want to serve on juries?

      • shelbynfla says:

        Frankly, I’d rather be on a jury then play chess. However, I think the issue of not wanting to serve more to do with the fact that people are either: pulled away from work, thereby causing more work when they return; pulled away from work, receiving only $15 for the day and losing money; pulled away from family, creating hardship to those at home; pulled away from sleep or whatever they feel is more fun; or have an incorrect and sensationalized view of the court room and jury duty from movies like “The Verdict”.

        In all reality, there is plenty of time to play chess with your fellow jury prisoners locked in a room for hours awaiting to be called. In an overwhelming majority of the time, if a jury is called and walked through the daunting corridors of the courthouse, the process is only to show the defense that the prosecution or plaintiff is willing to go through with the trial, and it may be the precise moment to discuss terms of a settlement. Then it is back to the holding room and with the hopes that no one moved your knight while you were gone.

        Perhaps the system should invoke the use of lawyers or anyone with a ‘JD’ serve on juries as part of their ‘pro bono’ required activity. It could also be a way to keep Lawyers CLE knowledge in check. Although, there are over 900,000 lawyers in Florida licensed by the Florida Bar, providing plenty of people from whom to pull, there may an issue of jury consisting of one’s peers. Notably though, based upon the law students who I’ve encountered, it is probably safe to recognize that most types of people would be fairly represented. However, there should be a caveat that anyone with a philosophy background not serve as foreman. The increased probabilities of a hung jury could take on a new meaning as the endless possible suggested outcomes from the foreman, may incite violence from the other members.

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