Crime and Punishment in Soul Society
- The Primary Law is to always maintain the balance of souls.
- To attack or threaten any member of the Central Forty-Six is treason.
- To attack any Captain of the Gotei Thirteen is treason.
- To attack any Onmitsu Kidou Gundanchou is treason.
- To attack the Kidoushuu Sousui is treason.
- To attack the Spiritual Research & Development Institute Souchou is treason.
- Citizens of Soul Society may not manufacture or otherwise create armaments without the sanction of the Central Forty-Six. To do so is treason.
- A Shinigami may not grant reiryoku to the living. To do so is treason.
- A Shinigami may not acquire or attempt to acquire Hollow-like powers. To do so is treason.
- It is forbidden for any member of the Gotei Thirteen to interfere in the affairs of noble families without the express order of the Central Forty-Six. Anyone caught doing so will serve a minimum of 10 years in the Seventh Division.
- A Shinigami may not bring harm to citizens of Rukongai or the Living World. Punishment up to and including execution will be decided through trial.
- A Shinigami may not bring harm upon the Rukongai, Living World, or Seireitei itself through reckless or careless use of Kidou, Shikai, Bankai, or otherwise. Punishment up to 50 years in the Seventh Division will be decided through trial.
- A Shinigami may not enter or remain in the Living World without a mission or appropriate authorization. Anyone caught doing so will serve 10 years in the Seventh Division.
- A Shinigami may not release Shikai within the walls of Seireitei unless authorized by a superior officer. Anyone caught doing so will serve 10 years in the Seventh Division.
- A Shinigami may not release Bankai within Seireitei, Rukongai, or the Living World unless authorized by a superior officer. Anyone caught doing so will serve 50 years in the Seventh Division.
- All Shinigami of a strength considered suitable for Bankai -- whether or not that Bankai has been confirmed -- will have their power limited in order to avoid causing undue influence to the Living World.
Restrictions on releases are waived in the following manner: A seated officer of 5th Seat of greater must witness your Shikai or Bankai first-hand, and grant you authorization based on the qualities of the release itself as well as the exhibited demeanor of the Shinigami. This authorization is permanent unless the nature of the authorized Shikai or Bankai changes noticeably or unless the same or a higher-ranking officer rescind the authorization.
A sentence to the Seventh Division is served only by writing in the division. A sentence of "10 years" means 1 week of writing, while a sentence of "50 years" means 2 weeks of writing. Lengthier sentences, as decided by the Central Forty-Six, are reduced by taking missions.
The Limiter will be in place for any Shinigami of 15,000 Reiatsu or greater when entering the Living World. This Limiter muffles all stats to 20% of normal. To remove the Limiter, authorization must be requested from Soul Society; this is typically granted by the Ninth Division and SRDI, unless specifically restricted by the Central Forty-Six. An individual of Captain-level in Soul Society can request an override to have the Limiter removed; however, a Captain cannot override their own Limiter.
All crimes that are considered Treason are judged by the Central Forty-Six. These are felonies and will result either in Enforced Criminal Service, Imprisonment, or Execution. If Enforced Criminal Service in the Seventh Division, it will be necessary to complete Seventh Division missions to reduce your sentence.
Note that to divulge or attempt to divulge the identity of any Central Forty-Six member is legally considered a Threat upon his or her life and is therefore Treason.
The Central 46 serve as Soul Society's primary government. They are made up of 40 wise men or women and 6 judges, selected from all of Soul Society. They are sealed into an enclave in Seireitei called Seijoutoukyorin (清浄塔居林) which no one else may enter, regardless of their military or civilian status. They act as a supreme judiciary organization whose authority puts it in direct control of the legal system. They handle all rulings on Shinigami and souls who have violated prohibitions. Their orders are absolute and no decision has been overturned, except by their own discretion.
Most decisions are made without the benefit of a trial. When a defendant is brought before them, they may present their case, but have no inherent right to counsel or representation beyond that which is granted by the Central Forty-Six.
- Exile: Certain crimes allows for the punishment of exile, commonly stripping a Shinigami of their powers and banishing them to the Living World.
- Detention: Reserved for those who have not officially been found guilty of a crime but are still deemed dangerous to Soul Society, the Central Forty-Six may, at its sole discretion, remand individuals to detention in the Maggot's Nest. This is carried out by the Onmitsukidou's Detention Unit.
- Enforced Criminal Service: The Central Forty-Six may sentence a Shinigami to serve time in the Seventh Division, where they are conscripted for the most dangerous missions in order to earn back their freedom.
- Imprisonment: The Central 46 may sentence a Shinigami to be held in the Central Great Underground Prison (真央地下大監獄, shin'ouchikadaikangoku) for a set amount of time. Also referred to as Hachinetsu Jigoku, the prison has eight levels which prisoners are confined in based on the severity of their crimes.
- Execution: There are multiple possible methods of execution if crime warrants the death penalty, all carried out on Soukyoku Hill. For cases of treason, however, the subject will be sentenced to the "ultimate punishment" in the form of the Soukyoku. The Soukyoku is a giant halberd that utterly destroys a soul on contact. When released, Sōkyoku takes on the form of a phoenix, its true form, called Kikou-ou. The Kikou-ou is claimed to have the destructive power of one million Zanpakutou.
There are actually four distinct places a shinigami may be held.
The Central Great Underground Prison, also known as Hachinetsu Jigoku, is located below the Chamber of Forty-Six, accessible only by the Onmitsukidou's Detention Unit and those specifically designated by the Central Forty-Six. It has eight progressively deeper levels, with the Eighth level reserved for the worst criminals in the history of Soul Society.
The Enforced Criminal Service Compound, administered by the Seventh Division along with some Onmitsukidou supervision, is located on the eastern side of Seireitei. It is surrounded by bloodstone walls and used to house individuals who have committed crimes, but have been deemed to be victims of circumstance. Although this in no way excuses their actions, members of the ECS have the privilege of being able to take on dangerous missions in return for years off of their sentence.
The Shrine of Penitence, or Senzaikyuu, is a tower of bloodstone at the center of Seireitei, in the midst of the First Division. It towers above even the First Division's main tower and the observatory, overlooking the Soukyoku Hill. This tower is 'death row,' reserved for criminals sentenced to death, allowing them to reflect on their sins and view the execution grounds for the last month before their sentence is carried out.
The Maggot's Nest can be thought of as an asylum. Located on the Second Division grounds, most of the complex is underground, with the entrance recessed against an outcropping of stone. The inmates here have, at least officially, not committed any crime, but are still deemed threats to society. The Onmitsukidou Detention Unit also supervises the Maggot's Nest, and no weapons are permitted inside, meaning that only those guards who excel at hand-to-hand combat may be stationed there. Many inmates of the Maggot's Nest are interred without trial or formal announcement, and all communication with the outside world is cut off completely.
In addition, for minor crimes, every division has its own small set of jail cells; these are mainly used to house shinigami who cause misdemeanors like public drunkenness or petty assault.