Mindwipe is a procedure that erases memories from the mind.
While a powerful, trained telepath can perform a mindwipe, the most common form is carried out by a machine; this procedure is used by the Earth Alliance as a punishment for murder, as the death penalty has been abolished, save for instances of mutiny and/or treason. Prior to the mindwipe, the sentenced person is scanned by a telepath, so there would be a reference point for a similar scan conducted afterward (to ensure the personality was completely destroyed). The telepath wears a black ribbon over their Psi-Corps badge, noting to others that he/she is performing the scan for death of personality. Following the use of the machine to perform the wipe, a new, artificial personality (complete with a set of memories) is programmed, one geared for "service." Once completed, the "new person" is relocated to a distant place in the Earth Alliance, where they spend the rest of their days performing community service. The process is held to be both a humane alternative to the death penalty and a pragmatic solution to overcrowded prisons.
- Brother Edward was such a person subject to a mindwipe, as his previous personality the Black Rose Killer.
- The man who ultimately becomes Brother Malcolm also received a mindwipe for murdering Brother Edward.
- Lester James Monroe was sentenced to receiving a mindwipe following a seven person killing spree in New Vegas.
- Karl Mueller was sentenced to be mindwiped, but escaped from custody and was subsequently killed before it could be carried out.
- It is unclear how frequently the mindwipe was used for murderers. Of the four confirmed sentences, three were unrepentant serial killers (each convicted of killing a minimum of three people) while the third murdered a man who had been himself mindwiped. In the case of the latter, public policy may have been the deciding factor in implementing the mindwipe.
- It is also unknown if any other races practiced this form of punishment, though it is clear the Minbari did not, as Ambassador Delenn was unfamiliar with it until it was explained to her by Michael Garibaldi.
- It is also not clear why the means for programming a new personality with memories was not used to treat mind wipe victims of the Na'ka'leen Feeder instead of retraining them or even just using a partial reprogramming to provide certain basic skills or knowledge (e.g. how to tie shoelaces, read and write, etc.).