OK, I must of thought this one up awhile ago, and it just keeps on going in my mind sometimes. I’m not sure if this is the right forum, or if it belongs in IMHO or even MPSIMS so if the mods feel it necesary, please move it. Anyways heres the question, but just a warning, unless you like far out legal hypotheticals, theres no point in reading on. Lets say you have Conjoined twins, if you remove them, they will both die, or at least one of them. These twins, or one of them I guess, have a legally obtained and registered fire arm. Now they are at a meeting or a bar or something, and one of the twins, in a rage and without the knowledge or consent of the other, pulls out the firearm and shoots somebody. Assuming the death penalty is out, and one of the twins commited no crime, how would the legal system handle it? It seems unfair to put both of them in jail, but it seems you cannot just let them go either? I realize this probobly hasn’t happened, so there is no deffinitive awnser, I’m just curious if there is a provision in the law for this sort of thing.
Charge the other twin as an accessory to the crime, which usually carries a similar sentence.
markxxx for this to be a fun hypothetical you have to assume the other twin didn’t willingly participate.
And I think the answer is (at least in any jurisdiction I have heard of) that there would be no specific law to deal with the situation and the judge would be utterly flummoxed.
Lemme see … the “innocent” twin must have known the other twin was carrying a loaded gun. The onus was on him/her to ascertain why the gun was being carried, and in the absence of a rational answer, warn others by continually yelling at the top of his/her voice “make way for the armed lunatic!”.
If the “innocent” twin doesn’t do this, then he/she would indeed be an accomplice, no?
That’s an old question Tallayan and has been asked on these boards before. And when it comes up, I usually take the question to the extreme:
In a state that allows for suicide as a “right,” could a cojoined twin legally kill him/herself, knowing that it will kill the twin?
There’s plenty of good reasons why a person would carry a gun. Maybe they were afraid of being robbed or attacked. Maybe they had a stalker (not the person killed). In any event, the hypothetical states that one twin is surprised by the sudden actions of the other, a possibility, even for conjoined twins.
I think a judge would be forced to suspend the sentence. It’s unconstitutional to keep an innocent person behind bars. This does make a conjoined twin immune to persecution if, and only if, the other twin wasn’t in on it. It’s possible, but unlikely to occur.