• @jimmydoreisalefty@lemmy.world
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    5628 days ago

    Interesting question!

    It seems to also show up in the first episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show [2].


    After thinking a bit on it and reading about it, I would go with neither would go to jail.

    It is better for a criminal to get away with murder than to have an innocent person go to jail for that crime.

    It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.

    AKA Blackstone’s ratio


    There are some other possible solutions to the problem, however. You might throw both twins in prison but treat only the guilty one as if he were a convict. When the siblings were released, for example, the good twin would have all the rights of a normal citizen, while the evil twin would have lost the right to vote, be registered as a sex offender, etc. You might even compensate the good twin according to the relevant payout rules for wrongful convictions. (Those who were wrongly incarcerated for a federal crime can get up to $50,000 per year, or $100,000 if they were on death row.)

    All of the above assumes that one twin is unambiguously guilty, and the other is unambiguously innocent. In real life, it’s hard to imagine such a clear-cut case. For example, a jury might be inclined to believe that the “good” twin acted as an accomplice, or perhaps an accessory, to the crime after the fact. This charge would apply if one sibling knew that the other had committed a crime—which seems likely under any circumstances—and that he intentionally provided assistance or comfort to his sibling rather than calling the police at the first opportunity. If the good twin were convicted of an accessory crime in federal court, he’d be subject to at most half the prison term appropriate to his evil brother. In some states, however, it’s legal to harbor a fugitive if that person happens to be your sibling.

    One more way that a “good” twin might be convicted, even if he took no part in the actual committing of the crime: In some states, he might be found guilty of not stopping his brother. Although as a general rule, common-law tradition dictates that you can’t be held accountable for something you didn’t do, 10 states have so-called “duty to rescue” statutes. These require innocent bystanders to call the police or reasonably attempt to aid a victim in distress. (In four of these states, siblings of the offender are exempt from the law.) If one twin tried to stab someone, the other might be expected to grab his arm or drag both of them to the ground. The penalty for failing to rescue is usually a fine, though some jurisdictions allow for up to a year in prison.

    [1] Source: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/01/a-siamese-twin-commits-murder-the-explainer-s-2009-question-of-the-year.html


    I believe that within our Constitutional framework, the only thing to be done in this situation is to release the conjoined twins. Even if the jury sentenced the conjoined twins to death, the court would have to commute the sentence and release the twins. The guarantees of due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit punishing an innocent actor.

    He asks the important question: “Which do we hold higher, the punishment of an innocent life or freeing a guilty one?”

    [2] Source: https://www.bustle.com/articles/44313-how-are-conjoined-twins-punished-if-one-commits-murder-asking-for-bette-dot-on-ahs

    • @Etterra@lemmy.world
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      728 days ago

      Well there’s at least one example out there of one identical twin committing a crime but since neither would admit it was them, they had to let them go free. I didn’t remember if there was a trial or just that they knew they couldn’t effectively prosecute them without knowing.

      Something like that might be the result here.

  • @shrugal@lemm.ee
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    4128 days ago

    I’d say nobody. Not putting innocent people in jail is more important than punishing criminals imo. But idk what to do with the guilty half instead.

      • @shrugal@lemm.ee
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        27 days ago

        Afaik it’s pretty common to call twinks “halfs”, conjoined or not. I’m a twin, and I’ve been asked about “my other half” my whole life. Same thing with couples, or any two people who are perceived as belonging together for some reason.

        • @person420@lemmynsfw.com
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          -527 days ago

          But this is a different situation. Would you tell an amputee to break a leg? Or ask a blind person if they “see what I’m saying”. I’m sure you could see how calling a single conjoined twin a “half” could be offensive.

          Colloquials like that are a great way to make communication more colorful and informal, but sometimes you need to be a bit more sensitive with what you say.

          • @shrugal@lemm.ee
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            27 days ago

            Completely disagree!

            Afaik most of them hate being treated differently like that, and others tiptoeing around them in fear of saying the wrong thing. If I know someone is sensitive about it or tells me that they don’t like a certain phrase then sure. But imo a good general rule is to treat them like the regular people they are, not delicate flowers not to be disturbed.

          • @shneancy@lemmy.world
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            526 days ago

            yes I’d say both of these things to said groups of people at least once, if told not to because they felt it was offensive I’d obviously stop, but I believe that purposely trying to santise your own language because you assume they’ll get upset is infantalising.

            As a trans person I’m often on the receiving end of such treatment, people are afraid to ask me questions I’d be happy to answer because they assume they’d upset me by a mere mention of my biology.

            Walking on eggshells around minorities is, though well intended, often infantalising, as if us poor weak tortured souls couldn’t handle normal speech.

            Talk to everyone normally and equally, unless you’ve been informed of ways to accommodate them better, then do it out of respect and kindness, not an assumption.

      • @corsicanguppy@lemmy.ca
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        627 days ago

        It’s half a set of twins. It’s okay.

        I don’t speak for my clone, let alone all twins. But I don’t care. I rode a bike down the side of a highway with no helmet as the logging trucks passed us by: this label will not hurt me.

  • @joneskind@lemmy.world
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    2628 days ago

    I think it should depend on the conjoined twin capacity to prevent the murder.

    If he had enough control over the body but didn’t try to stop the murder he should be at least held a little responsible.

    If he wouldn’t have been able to prevent the murder then he’s just a witness and shouldn’t be put in jail no matter what.

    And now I wonder what would happen if the conjoined twin could be sentenced to death.

  • I’ve occasionally wondered the same thing about sexy time. Like, what if they don’t both like the same kind of sex? One likes it rough, the other sweet and soft?

    I suppose the answer to that is obvious, but it leads me to questions like: how are accusations of rape handled when one twin was consenting? Again, the answer seems obvious, but aside from the biological challenges, conjoining raises a whole host of other minor dilemmas.

  • I was curious if this has even happened before and can’t find anything. Not even working together and both being guilty. I guess conjoined twins don’t get up to much mischief 🤷🏻‍♂️

  • volvoxvsmarla
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    1628 days ago

    Well they just are extra not allowed to commit crimes. Like way more than other people.

    • @BearOfaTime@lemm.ee
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      28 days ago

      You.

      I like you.

      (For you downvoters, OP formed the question in an ambiguous way. I highly recommend watching the movie Clue to see this gag used repeatedly to good effect).

      • Rikudou_SageA
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        228 days ago

        Thanks for explaining a joke that has been running around forever.

  • deadcatbounce
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    427 days ago

    I think the human rights of the assailant always outweigh those of the victim in these situations. Neither of them goes to prison.

  • Flax
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    228 days ago

    Don’t they both have control of half the body? So it’s not really possible

      • Flax
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        828 days ago

        Being a head stuck on someone else’s body sounds horrifying

  • @xia@lemmy.sdf.org
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    28 days ago

    Assuming it is ever right to cage a human as punishment, i guess one would need a special room on the exterior wall of the prison.

    Inside the room (and prison?) both are unencumbered (the free one is just visiting for the twins sake), but in order to leave (as one has the right to) the other must don one of those shrouds from the Foundation series.