19 sci-fi trials to take your mind off that Casey Anthony verdict

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Evan Hoovler
Dec 15, 2012

Whatever you think about yesterday's verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, if you can't STOP thinking about it, we've got something to help you forget—because during times when reality seems to be losing a grip on itself, sci-fi can be the only relief.

Here are 19 hearings that assure us that in the future, justice will be served.

We've tracked down video clips when available. Order in the court!

Dr. Who : Trial of a Time Lord

This awesome 14-part episode saw prosecutors presenting evidence about the Doctor's past, present and future. Knowing whether to give the death penalty must be easy: You just have to look into the future and see if the defendant is dead.

Worf on Trial for Fighting Klingons

Worf destroys a Klingon ship, then must be tried. Space law sure seems to have a far-reaching jurisdiction. How far into outer space does he have to boldly go before Worf can finally break laws (like killing Klingons and hitting on Data) with impunity?

Data on Trial for Being a Robot

Is Data his own man? Or is he property and slave of Starfleet? This is universally important: Sooner or later, the robot clones we made of ourselves are going to want emancipation, so we have to keep them locked away from all media as long as possible

Kirk on Trial for People Who Died Under His Command

Star Trek seems to have a recurring them of "Let's put people on trial who are minding their own business." Kirk is framed for a man's death. We were hoping for a big reveal where the dead guy was wearing a cheap alien costume, so Kirk beat the crap out of him because he is unable to tell the difference.

Gaius Baltar on Trial

Baltar is tried and found not guilty for a bunch of people dying. The biggest robbery is that he escaped prosecution for popularizing the "space mullet."

Kate on Trial for Killing Her Dad on Lost

In a court case rife with inaccuracy, Kate is found not guilty of blowing up her father. Which she totally was guilty of, by the way. Although, after those polar bear cages, Kate would probably rule a normal prison.

The Twilight Zone: The Obsolete Man

This man is on trial for being obsolete. In the twist ending, the judge is then put on trial for being obsolete. Remember when we were afraid that robots were going to take all of our jobs? Now we know that the correct thing to fear is outsourcing.

Bender in Court for Pimping

Come on now, isn't robot prostitution the oldest profession?

Red Dwarf Trial

Lister stands accused of stealing and crashing a Starbug. This starts a humorous plot arc where they all go to space prison. It's like that show Oz, but with cheeky British one-liners instead of sexual-assault power plays.

Number 48's Trial from "The Prisoner"

With the nonsensical dialogue and the ridiculous singing number, it is our belief that humankind has not yet evolved the sensory devices needed to perceive this episode correctly.

Planet of the Apes

Here, Taylor is put on trial in a magnificent scene that hearkens back to the Scopes monkey trials. Despite every other character telling him he comes from Earth, and despite the fact that they all seem to speak English, Charlton Heston's character still adamantly argues he's from a different planet.

Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck Gets Tried for Sports-Related Murder

Otherwise known as "an average day in the South American pro soccer leagues."

Buck Rogers in "Testimony of a Traitor"

An ancient videotape implicates Buck Rogers in a nuclear holocaust. Bad luck for Buck: The statute of limitations on nuclear holocaust happens to be six centuries.

Riker on Trial

Riker is falsely accused of rape, probably because of the pirate beard. Also, when your boss calls you "number one," it can lead people to think you get into all sorts of deviant stuff.

DS9 Courtroom Episode

Dramatic twists and turns are undermined by the fact that this seems to be the worst-lit courtroom ever. Are they on trial for stealing light bulbs?

Justice League, In Blackest Night

John Stewart is put on trial for genocide. It turns out he was framed, a plan that quickly unravels for obvious reasons. Framing a guy for one murder is hard enough, why try to frame him for millions?

Heavy Metal: Captain Sternn

A huge muscleman wrecks the courtroom while rocking out to Cheap Trick. This is what that show Cop Rock should have been like.

Stargate Triad

If you think Earth legalese is hard, try Tollan legalese. Hint: It's almost exactly like Earth legalese, except the writers have replaced all the Earth words with even weirder-sounding terms.

X-Files: The Truth

What better way to sum up the boring decline of X-Files than by having the final episode involve a bunch of people sitting around a courtroom? We were expecting a hilarious Seinfeld sendup wherein Mulder and Scully spend years in jail, constantly arguing about aliens vs. science. But, no, instead we are treated to the wacky scene of Mulder being sentenced to die.

Reviewing these trials, it's apparent that sometimes justice isn't served in sci-fi either. Or wait—now that we think about it, "justice not being served" was pretty much limited to "every episode of the X-Files."

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