For Capt. Shaw, the ethical course is clear: Turn over Jack Crusher. Not a lot had been learned about him in the brief time — literally only hours — that Picard knew him. Audiences, however, saw that Jack plays on the edge of ethics. In a flashback, Jack gives a case of weapons to some rough-looking characters, but in exchange for access to a sick planet that he has the medicine to cure. Jack, of course, sees that curing people is a more immediate ethical need than the distribution of guns.
For viewers who agree with Jack, the character could be described as good. For viewers who object to his giving of weapons to violent-looking men, then he might be argued as bad. Overall, little is known about the character in general, and Picard only trusts Jack because of his association with Dr. Crusher, who is in a stasis coma and can’t explain what the issue is.
As such, Capt. Shaw, as the one in charge of 500 lives, is 100% in the right for wanting to turn over Jack. Perhaps on a calmer “Star Trek” series, Capt. Shaw would have the time to investigate the man in his custody, but on “Picard,” a bloodthirsty supervillain gives him mere hours to provide an answer. For Shaw, the answer is clear.
Picard, of course, senses something fishy, and is reluctant to play into Vadic’s hands. Why would she be so willing to blow up an entire ship, murdering hundreds, just to apprehend one criminal? Is the bounty on Jack’s head worth that much? Or could it be that some other, more insidious power is at work, and Jack has value to villains other than a payday?