CoJ Case 042
DB vs Delak Krennel was the fourty-second case tried by the Chamber of Justice. The sitting Justicar was Jac Cotelin, the Left Hand of Justice was Montresor, and the Right Hand of Justice was Halcyon Taldrya.
Basic Case Information
- Falsifying Matches
- Guilty on all counts
- Two-Grade Demotion
- Letter of Reprimand
- 9-Month Probation (Including a 3-month gaming ban and prohibition on promotion)
Related News Posts
Posted in DJB News by Grand Master Jac Cotelin on 03/20/2015 @ 1:59 AM
Members of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood -
The Chamber of Justice has convened in seven matters, having brought charges against members and completed the process of adjudication for each case. The Chamber has issued detailed verdicts and Justicar Opinions for each case which can be found in the PDF files linked below. The primary opinion, which was incorporated by reference into other opinions due to overlapping issues, is the DB v. Delak Krennel opinion. I direct you attention to that opinion first. Please note that the written opinion is generally found on the second page of the following documents, after announcement of the verdict.
The cases and verdicts are summarized as follows:
Case # 42 - DB v. Delak Krennel - 
- Count 1 - Cheating - GUILTY by plea
- Count 2 - Falsifying Matches - GUILTY by plea
- Punishment - Two-grade Demotion, LoR, Strict Probation w/Gaming Ban
As to the first charge, on January 10 and 23, 2015, Delak Krennel and Protector Rayna Krennel submitted identical submissions to the Round 1 Puzzle Event in the Eleventh Great Jedi War. The Seneschal coded the event so that no two puzzles for members were identical. As a result, no two members could have the same answer, and the Seneschal flagged the submissions.
As punishment for these submissions, and violating the spirit of competition, the Defendant was initially punished through a disqualification from the event. Thereafter, the Chamber of Justice conducted an investigation and, upon due consideration, decided to issue charges.
As to the second charge, between December 19t h and December 21s t , 2014, Delak Krennel participated in a scheme to earn as many Clusters of Fire (CFs) utilizing Diablo 3 as possible. The scheme involved a loophole within the game itself, allowing one member to host their game as a Level 1 character, yet playing the game itself on the highest difficulty. As punishment for exploiting the loophole in the game, and violating the spirit of competition, the Defendant was punished by the Fist of the Brotherhood, Valhavoc.
However, it was also revealed that those who had participated in the above took turns in being the Level 1 character. For the most part this character did not participate in the actual game, but instead stayed in camp, which is a safe zone where one can rest and not be an active participant in the game without formally leaving the game itself. During the time in which a player stayed at camp, that player did not participate in the activity that was reported. Allowing gaming activity to be approved in which one or more members did not fully participate is in violation of the Rites of Combat, specifically Falsifying Matches.
This case illustrates several principals of the Dark Covenant that are important. First, I note that there is a great distinction between the judicial actions of the Chamber and the disqualification punishments that have been received by the Defendant. The Chamber believes that the disqualification of the member in the various competitions and the removal of any ill-gotten medals is a function of the executive branch, subject to the Chamber’s supervision only to ensure process and fairness. Such disqualifications reset the playing field to account for the tactics used that would otherwise distort the competition. It is the opinion of the Justicar that such actions by the executive in no way impact or mitigate the punishments to be levied under the Covenant. That is, for example, removal of medals that should have never been earned, and disqualification from the competition in which competition rules were broken, are not penalties from the Chamber for violating the Covenant; not at least until the person is found guilty. The executive actions simply revert the member to the prior status quo while Chamber action awaits. Therefore, the Chamber has not reduced the punishments here to account for any prior executive action.
Second, in terms of the RoC violation, prior Justicars have handled these types of RoC infractions without opening official cases and issuing charge notifications. That is, prior precedent would allow the Chamber of Justice to issue a Letter of Reprimand or probation without this formal proceeding. The view of the Chamber of Justice has changed on that subject as to whether a charge notification is required for small penalties, and as a result, despite the precedent, formal charges were brought. Third, the Chamber is pleased when a member takes responsibility for his actions through a guilty plea. Prior cases through the Chamber may have given great weight to the mitigating value of a guilty plea. While we value the guilty plea, this Chamber views the plea of a member as only one of the factors used to determine a punishment. Among the other factors are (i) the severity of the charges; (ii) the sincerity of the member’s m ea culpa ; (iii) the precedent of the priorcases;and(iv)thedeterrentgoalsofth e Chamber.
In this case, the Chamber views the Falsification claims at a lesser severity than the Cheating claims. The RoCs have specific minimum sentences for the Falsification claims, and the Defendant has been given that minimum sentence as part of his overall punishment, consisting of a three month gaming ban/probation, general probation, and a Letter of Reprimand. Here, the Defendant made statements with his guilty plea indicating that there were short periods of time when he was not actively playing the game as a result of needing to help a young child. The Chamber will not judge the veracity of those statements--I take them at face value--but will note that they conflict with statements of other members. Moreover, the member did not account for the alleged situations during which other members refrained from actively playing while the Defendant took advantage of the exploit. In the end, the Chamber does not find any reason to lower the minimum sentence set forth in the RoCs.
The Cheating charge is far more serious and is, in the opinion of the Justicar, one of the most heinous offenses that a member can commit. We are a club that, above all, places faith in the honest competition. While the Falsification charges are of the same gender, the cheating here took place during a Vendetta, which is inexcusable. It is a shame that we must force the Seneschal to program his puzzle events to catch cheaters; but it is a necessary evil.
In this instance, the Defendant and Rayna Krennal, his wife, claimed that his wife found the answers to the puzzle event in a file on the Defendant’s computer. The Defendant claims that he did not give the answers to Rayna, but pled guilty nonetheless for his failing to delete the answers. On these facts, the Chamber finds the statements and evidence submitted by the Defendant and Rayna Krennel to be less than credible. The circumstances of the puzzle event, and the details of the alleged “file” that was uncovered by the Defendant’s wife thirteen days after he submitted the initial answers leave much to be desired. Without going into further detail, I will note that there are too many holes in the story to be ignored. The lack of credibility of the Defendant’s story revolving around the puzzle answers leads me to doubt his mea culpa as a whole. I hope I am wrong in that, and the Defendant is sincere in his apology.
The Chamber has reviewed the precedent of these cases and has found the precedential value of those cases lacking. That is, they do not offer much guidance in terms of how to proceed. That determination here is largely guided by the Chamber’s opinion about cheating in general and the need for a strong deterrent. Through this verdict, the Chamber reinforces the following: if you cheat, we will catch you, and you will be demoted.
As a result of the Cheating, Delak is undeserving of the rank of Dark Jedi Knight and has henceforth been demoted to the rank of Guardian, a two level demotion. Due to the nature of Journeyman promotions (that is, it takes little effort to obtain them), this demotion would lack force unless it were accompanied by a strong probationary measure. As a result, the probation for the first three months will prohibit the Defendant from receiving a promotion. Thereafter, the Defendant will be on general probation for an additional term of six months.
Finally, there has been a general discussion in these cases about the application of punishment of the CoJ on top of the executive actions that have already been maintained as well as the “judicial cloud” that has been over the head of the charged members while the CoJ changed hands. I do not view the executive and judicial punishments as judicial; the RoCs contemplate the minimum punishment not as an alternative. Further, I have considered the “time served” idea in relation to any hardships that have occurred during the CoJ changeover. I take those into account in lowering the typical one year probation period to a total of nine months.
It is the hope of the Chamber that Delak Krennel will reform his ways and become a productive and long-lasting member of the Brotherhood. While the punishment is justified and necessary, the Chamber asks that the Defendant’s peers join me in forgiving him for the violations of the Covenant and seek to bring him further into the fold of active membership.
Signed and sealed in Justice,
Jac Ae-Sequiera Cotelin
Justicar and High Protector of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood