An Urgent Appeal to the Physics Community

An essay by Terry Fied, Department of Physics, Manhattan Institute of Theoreticians
Related to this journal by E. B. Fischadler
Art by Dawn Vogel

To the Editor:

Recently, I became aware of a new and disturbing trend: the courts are using physicists to develop new and horrific methods of execution. The following is the first example of this trend I have encountered. Hopefully it is a unique case and the community of scientists can intervene to stop this terrible abuse of science before any other such cases exist.

As you know, I often am sought as an expert witness in highly technical cases. This new trend came to my attention in the form of a “friend of the court” brief which came across my desk. In a recent case, the courts asked the physics community to offer its opinion of a method to cause planetary extinction as punishment for a crime. While it could and should be argued that the deaths of which the defendants are accused occurred through no fault of their own, the court has found them guilty and sentenced them to death. The defendants filed an appeal, asserting that existing methods of planetary extinction constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The court turned to the science community for alternatives, and an artificial supernova of the star around which the defendants’ planet orbits has been proposed as a means of execution.

The brief, a copy of which follows, is an opinion of the pain and suffering associated with this method of execution. The science is not at issue here–this unconscionable abuse of physics is. The science community must resist any such requests in the future. This is an issue of immense import and should be our highest priority.

Please join me in opposing this misuse of science and maintaining the high moral ground on which physics has always stood.



Nos 11-137, 13-098, 14-456
In The
Supreme Court of Galaxus

Planet Earth et. al Petitioners
3rd Sector Court of Appeals Respondents

On Writ of Certiorari to the Galaxus Court of Appeals

Brief Amicus Curiae of

Department of Physics
Manhattan Institute of Theoreticians

in support of Respondents

Peri G. Mason
Counsel of Record

Counsel for Amicus Curiae
Manhattan Institute of Theoreticians

Questions Presented

  1. Whether inducing a supernova of the star around which planet Earth orbits in order to execute its inhabitants constitutes a cruel and unusual punishment.
  2. Whether a botched execution is likely, and would the Earth suffer unduly as a result.

Table of Authorities

Cases cited

Planet Earth v Government of Third Arm Galaxus

Planet Mars v Planet Earth

Statutes cited

Gen Laws Galaxus, chap 3 v 4


Wells, H. G. War of the Worlds

Note:  While many hold this as fiction, we believe Wells was actually describing a botched attempt by the Martians to carry out the order of this court to execute the Earthlings.

Summary of Argument

As to whether a supernova constitutes cruel and unusual punishment: Recent planetary executions have raised the concern that such executions constitute cruel and unusual punishment as defined under the statute cited. Indeed, the botched execution of Earth as described by Wells could be construed as an example.

The courts have charged the Earthlings with three major crimes.

The first is their taking of planet Earth, which was inhabited by the reptilians referred to as dinosaurs. The dinosaurs peacefully inhabited Earth for several hundred million years until the race which became the Earthlings hurled a large fireball at the planet, resulting in the extinction of the large reptilians.

The second is the near extinction of the Martians around 1880 (note 1) following the botched attempt at executing Earth for the first offense. Planet Earth wrongly assessed the court appointed executioners from Mars as an invasion force [ref Wells] and retaliated with germ warfare (Rhinovirus), wiping out the executioners and causing the near extinction of the Martian race when the virus was carried to Mars by the few survivors.

The third is the attempted taking of the Planet Mars by robots that the Earthlings sent to Mars for this purpose. The Earthlings claimed Mars was unoccupied, yet it is well known that Mars had been left fallow for several millennia in accord with good farming practices.

The court has found Earth guilty of all three offenses and imposed a sentence of summary extinction, with the remaining planet to be awarded to the Martians as reparations.

An Urgent Appeal to the Physics Community

The court turned to the science community for alternatives, and an artificial supernova of the star around which the defendants’ planet orbits has been proposed as a means of execution.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2015 collection.

Terry Fied is a Junior Assistant Lieutenant Deputy Adjunct Professor loosely affiliated with the Department of Physics at the Manhattan Institute of Theoreticians. His background includes certificates from some of the finest psychiatric institutions in the nation. Mr. Fied’s recent works include: Do Alien Abductions Constitute Transport Across State Lines? and Selected Quotes from Chewbacca: Wookie Poet Laureate.

E. B Fischadler has been writing short stories for several years, and has recently begun publishing. When he is not writing, he pursues a career in engineering and serves his community as an EMT. Mr. Fischadler’s technical works have been published in several refereed journals and a book. Fischadler continues to write short stories and is working on a novel about a naval surgeon.

Dawn Vogel has been published as a short fiction author and an editor of both fiction and non-fiction. Although art is not her strongest suit, she’s happy to contribute occasional art to Mad Scientist Journal. By day, she edits reports for and manages an office of historians and archaeologists. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business and tries to find time for writing. She lives in Seattle with her awesome husband (and fellow author), Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats. For more of Dawn’s work visit

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