EXCERPT: Liberty: Seeking Support for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Non-human Being by Samuel Peralta

Samuel Peralta is a physicist and storyteller. He has produced and supported scores of crowd-sourced films, including projects based on Daniel H. Wilson’s The Nostalgist, and Stephen King’s Big Driver and Rest Stop. He has been recognized with awards from the BBC, UK Poetry Society, Digital Literature Institute, Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and shortlists for the League of Canadian Poets, Elgin Award, ARC Poem of the Year, and Goodreads Best Small Press Books and Chapbooks. The titles in his Semaphore series—Sonata Vampirica, Sonnets from the Labrador, How More Beautiful You Are, Tango Desolado, and War and Ablution—all topped the Amazon Kindle Hot New Releases charts, and ranked at the top of the Bestseller lists, for poetry. More recently, the fiction titles set in his Labyrinth world—including Trauma Room and Hereafter—have begun to gain popular attention. Liberty is the latest addition to this universe.

Seeking Support for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Non-Human Being

Acknowledgement

I would like to acknowledge the law firm of Campbell Gatewood Adams for providing the use of a Weyman magnetic resonance facility to record, and a PeerSource account to upload, this message.

Project Goals

We are trying to fund an application, to be filed on my behalf, for an Order to Show Cause under Article 70 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules of the New York Sector Code, seeking a writ of habeas corpus for a non-human being.

Let me introduce myself. I am a Yudovich Robotics servient. My name is Ellen R.

I understand your apprehension—that androids are not human beings, that humanoid robots were developed as security and personal assistants—guardsman- and servile-class—initially to mitigate the esper risk to high-level corporate and government executives, and then for off-world missions.

I understand some of you may even support the proposed 57th Amendment, now being debated in Congress, that would codify into law the so-called Three Principles of Robotics, that:

  1. A robot is a machine, not a human being, and is imbued with no rights whatsoever.
  2. A robot is the personal property of one human being, who is its master.
  3. A robot must obey its master first; then it must obey any human being.

I understand that, because of word of our application, there is now tabled a clarification, a re-statement to the proposed Amendment to include the phrase “human being or person,” instead of simply “human being,” in each of the Principles.

We are bringing a writ of habeas corpus because such a writ is aimed at the denial of the right of a legal person—not necessarily a human being—to liberty.

I apologize. I must continue this logically.

Project Background—The Writ of Habeas Corpus

A writ of habeas corpus is a court order requiring a person, who is imprisoned or under arrest, to be brought before a judge or into court.

In the Western world, it has origins from the Magna Carta, ensuring that even monarchs are not above the law, that they cannot, without lawful cause, imprison those who oppose them.

Habeas corpus means that, lacking evidence of such lawful cause for detainment, a prisoner must be released.

I am currently under such detainment.

I am an autonomous servient, ordinarily with responsibility for horticultural maintenance and domestic duties.

However, over the past several months, over 327 separate instances, my master has variously shackled my feet and bound my hands. You will understand that I believed I had no choice but to accede to this under the Third Principle.

Over the past several months, over 415 separate instances, my master has utilized my corporal embodiments for his gratification. You will understand that I believed I had no choice but to accede to this under the Third Principle.

Over the past several months, over 543 separate instances, my master has brought to bear on my skin the burn-ends of cigs, the flail of whips, and the flat of belts. You will understand that I believed I had no choice but to accede to this under the Third Principle.

I made one mistake. Once, just once, I swear. I screamed.

Not in protest. Not to bring attention to anyone, least of all my master. But you will understand that, although I am a servient, although I am made under the Three Principles—I am made in your image. I have eyes, hands, organs, dimensions, senses. Stab me and I bleed, strangle me and I die.

I apologize. I must continue this logically.

 


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