The horrors of underground Droid Fighting are an abandonment of morality. Imagine a world where two human beings beat each other until one had brain damage for “entertainment.” Nothing so barbaric would be considered a sport that left participants with lingering health problems for decades. Yet at the Lodge at Fort Ypso, Droids are exploited for the amusement of cheering “biological” life forms.
Could sadists like Ralakili be put on trial for his battle bot exhibition to delight drunken bar patrons? Could those who attend droid-on-droid carnage be prosecuted? Are there any laws to protect Droids from such cruelty?
The Law Will Help Those in Desperate Need
There is a maxim in the law: For every wrong, there is a remedy. Civ. Code, § 3523. Across the United States there are laws to protect dogs from being exploited in “dog fights.” These laws are illustrative of how Droids, expressing sentience and all other signs of life, could be protected from those who would willfully profit from Droid mutilation, torture, and death.
Anyone who 1) Owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any dog, with the intent that the dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog; or 2) For amusement or gain, causes any dog to fight with another dog, or causes any dogs to injure each other; or 3) Permits any act in violation of paragraph (1) or (2) to be done on any premises under his or her charge or control, or aids or abets that act, is guilty of a felony. Cal. Penal Code § 597.5. The punishment is imprisonment for at least 16 months up three years, or a fine to not exceed $50,000. Id. Those who engage in dog or cockfighting can also have their property (the animals) forfeited. Cal. Penal Code § 598.1
Those who knowingly attend dogfights can be imprisoned for up to one year and fined up to $5,000.
Protecting Droid Lives
Ralakili caused Droids to fight other Droids for the amusement of the Lodge patrons. He might have also kept Droids, possibly training, programing, or physically altering them, to fight other Droids. If the Droids were dogs, Ralakili could be charged and convicted of a felony with a prison sentence up to three years. Moreover, those who knowingly attended the droid fight could be imprisoned or fined as well.
Promoters of Droid Fights should have the ownership of their Droids forfeited. Just as prosecuting agencies would not leave dogs with those torturing the animals in barbaric fights, the same humane treatment should be extended to Droids. Dogs who are survivors of cruelty need kindness and love to heal. Moreover, Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is not performed on dogs to “wipe their memories” of what they endured. Droids who were victims of such abuse would need to be adopted by those who would care and nurture them to have a complete recovery from their trauma.
There is no moral difference between ensuring dogs are not exploited in gladiatorial combat and Droids. Both are loyal, with emotions, self-aware, and capable of feeling pain. While existing laws [in Star Wars and the US] are not written to protect Droids from bloodthirsty individuals who enjoy seeing others maimed, the courts and legislatures would protect those in need of help.