Another thought about crime:
With a big game, you might have many different cities, towns, villages, and so on. I highly doubt every place in your game world will have the same laws or punishments, or even ways to judge criminals or handle them. It would be interesting to see a system like this implemented with diversity.
This is something that I have thought about off and on. I think that in order to implement a justice system that is diverse across areas (be they cities, towns, cantrevs, tribal camps, whatever) there will have to be additional information stored in the area files that tells the area and its mobs, how they are expected to behave, in a general sense, of course.
I have thought about using something like the AD&D system of setting up such a system where we would have a var set with 9 members being CHOAS_EVIL, CHAOS_GOOD, CHAOS_NEUTRAL, LAW_EVIL, LAW_GOOD, LAW_NEUTRAL, NEUTRAL, NEUTRAL_EVIL, NEUTRAL_GOOD.
The LAW - NEUTRAL - CHAOS line determines how crime is seen from a general moral standpoint by the general populace of the area. In a Lawful area crime is not looked kindly upon at all and prosecution is pretty much a guarantee. In a Chaotic area crime is a way of life and people do what they think they have to in order to survive. Neutral areas lie somewhere in the middle.
The GOOD - NEUTRAL - EVIL line determines the degree of punishment (if any). I can see Good areas as having proper punishments that fit the crime and quick deaths if such is warranted. At the Evil end you could run the gamut from public humiliation in the worst ways possible to slow, lingering deaths to please the local ruler. The punishments at the Evil end would not necessarily fit the crime and could be based on a random percentage that reflects the whim of the judge/jury/executioner. Again, the Neutral areas would fall somewhere in between with maybe a percentage chance of leaning either way or maybe even a different set of punishments altogether that allows them to "preserve the balance".
Such a system as this would be a drastic change for any codebase that doesn't have a justice system. My thoughts don't give each area a unique system but at least each area isn't controlled by the same rules as all of the others when it comes to crime and punishment.
Now, this can be taken a step further with bounties for PCs in certain areas while others treat them with distain or indifference. Imagine, walking into a town that has wanted posters up for the arrest of a PC that bears their description. By forcing players to create a description of themselves this could be coded fairly easily to have items display the description of the "most wanted" PC on the mud at the time by looking into the pfiles and comparing their alignments.