The Agents of SHIELD Season 2 finale contained a happy ending for Calvin “Mr. Hyde” Zabo. After killing his wife who had planned to commit genocide on humanity with Terrigen Crystals as a eugenic weapon, Mr. Hyde had a unique sentence: Memory erased and his own veterinarian clinic to help pets that need love and healing. After all, the world needs professionals who help animals.
Was that legal?
Calvin Zabo had committed multiple counts of murder, illegal human experimentation, and criminal conspiracy in several states. Moreover, the People’s Republic of China would have an interest in prosecuting him for murdering a village in order to “feed” Jiaying their life energies.
Director Coulson unilaterally decided that Zabo would be pardoned for his crimes, but Zabo’s mind would be erased. This decision is problematic, because Zabo had a 7th Amendment right to a trial for his crimes and a 6th Amendment right to counsel. Both seemed to have been ignored. Furthermore, conducting a medical experiment without a prisoner’s consent to erase his memory would definitely violate the 8th Amendment prohibition again cruel and unusual punishment. To be blunt, Court’s just don’t let people get lobotomized.
People who are involuntarily committed have the right to refuse psychosurgery. (See, Cal Wel & Inst Code § 4503, as one state example). This right can only overwritten on a showing of good cause, which includes treating physicians documenting the treatment needed, a review of the patient’s treatment record by two treating physicians who both agree with the recommended treatment, and written consent by the patient or the person’s guardian. Cal Wel & Inst Code § 5326.7.
This process does not appear to have been followed. In theory, Dr. Andrew Garner’s (Agent May’s ex-husband) could have been the treating physician to make the treatment recommendation. No other psychologists are known, but would others have agreed with erasing Calvin’s memories? Skye/Daisy could have provided written consent, but this still would be a grossly invasive procedure to erase someone’s life.
Director Coulson apparently acted as the prosecutor, judge, and jury in determining Zabo’s sentence to a happy life with no memory of crimes. Director Coulson effectively pardoned Zabo for his crimes and then expunged his criminal record. There is just no way Coulson’s actions were legal, but Zabo did help save humanity. That would be worth a limited pardon from a President and multiple governors. Plus the world needs good veterinarians. Just think of all the puppies Cal can help, opposed to being in prison or a mental hospital for the rest of his life.