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French Police Unsure Which Twin To Charge In Sexual Assaults

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the ok-fellas-time's-up dept.

Biotech 626

An anonymous reader writes "In a real life Prisoner's Dilemma taking place in the French city of Marseille, twin brothers have been arrested for a string of sexual assaults. While say they are sure that one of them committed the crimes (corroborated by a standard DNA test), police were told that it would cost upwards of €1m euros (£850,000, $1.3m USD) to distinguish between them using DNA evidence."

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!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917789)

"Prisoner's Dilemma" does not just mean "a dilemma involving prisoners"

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917883)

mind == blown!

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (3, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917987)

This isn't reddit. There is no karma train

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918087)

Yes, there is. There's just an upper bound to how much you can get here.

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (3, Funny)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918077)

Mind equals blown not? Yoda language?

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918297)

That's not how it works.

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (4, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918035)

It's the brothers that have the dilemma. Let's say both of them were committing these crimes:
If both stay silent, maybe end up with time served 'cause they can't be sure it which of you it was.
If one brother rats the other out (with convincing proof), he goes free while the other gets sentenced for all the crimes.
If both rat the other out, each gets sentenced for his actual share of the crimes.

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (1)

brisk0 (2644101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918133)

Except the law doesn't work via compromise. It's suggested that only one of the brothers committed the assaults, in which case one of them is going to jail. The first line might be true in so far as they might both be held until they can be sorted out, but not as a sentence. The second line is invalid towards the dilemma as this can (probably) only go one way, only one brother has the ability to present convincing proof that the other did it. Due to this alone #3 is impossible, but nobody's getting sentenced until it's sorted out anyway.

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918263)

It's still a prisoner's dilemma game if you assume that the innocent brother prefers that his twin goes free, which doesn't seem far fetched.

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (5, Interesting)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918267)

That is nonsense:
If both stay silent, maybe end up with time served 'cause they can't be sure it which of you it was.
You can not convict someone on that base.

Supposed I was innocent. Then according to the DNA evidence my twin did it. When he and I stay silent, they still don't know who it was. So the first paragraph of all "constitutional states": innocent until proven otherwise comes to play.

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918117)

Calling this a prisoner's dilemma situation is perhaps problematic, but not completely off:

Twin A and Twin B both keep quiet: Both twins go free or serve a short time for obstruction of justice.
Twin A blames Twin B, Twin B keeps quiet: Twin A goes free. Twin B goes to jail.
Twin B blames Twin A, Twin A keeps quiet: Twin B goes free. Twin A goes to jail.
Twin A and Twin B blame each other: Both twins are charged for the same crime. Each is tried separately and both go to jail.

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (2)

LordKronos (470910) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918301)

Twin A blames Twin B, Twin B keeps quiet: Twin A goes free. Twin B goes to jail.
Twin B blames Twin A, Twin A keeps quiet: Twin B goes free. Twin A goes to jail.

Wow. I didn't know our justice system worked like that. So someone accuses you, you invoke your 5th amendment right to remain silent, and you go to jail?

Someone gets it. (1)

neoshroom (324937) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918175)

Wait...does this mean my plan to cause another Big Bang using a giant cannon isn't going to work?!

Re:!(Prisoner's Dilemma) (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918231)

Actually the principles of the prisoners dilemma started exactly in this kind of scenario. Two prisoners, police know one them did the crime but can't charge them.

If the police actually have a lesser crime they can charge them both with and offer them a plea bargain then we are exactly in the prisoner's dilemma.

Those a big IFs though.

1Mill Euro and the Answer Is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917803)

...both! Now that would be money well spent!

Or IS there even a genetic test?. (4, Interesting)

popo (107611) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917997)

Will someone with a better understanding of genetics please explain how a genetic test is even possible?

My understanding is that identical twins -- arising from the same zygote -- are genetically identical. Not just "pretty much identical" as the article states.

What possible "genetic test" is being proposed that could differentiate between the brothers? Is the town being scammed?

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (2)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918059)

Will someone with a better understanding of genetics please explain how a genetic test is even possible?

My understanding is that identical twins -- arising from the same zygote -- are genetically identical. Not just "pretty much identical" as the article states.

What possible "genetic test" is being proposed that could differentiate between the brothers? Is the town being scammed?

Of course not! Modern laboratories are equipeed with new, state-of-the-art dice for such quandries.

The cost seems a little inflated, though. I could do the same test for a penny (that would luckily also cover all equipment expenses).

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (4, Informative)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918103)

All joking aside, though, I also got curious. And, as I went to Google College, unlike some underprivileged folks, let me share my inaccessible knowledge: http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask68 [thetech.org]

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (5, Informative)

popo (107611) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918223)

Ah. So there is a way. Thanks for the Google Fu.

Unlike some 'other' underprivileged folks I have one of those modern "cut and paste" operating systems. :p

Here is the important bit from the above link:

"Just like our fingerprints, the environment can change our DNA too. We all build up mutations in our DNA over time. Most of these DNA changes are harmless although some can lead to diseases like cancer.

Where do these changes come from? Some come from the stuff our body does everyday. For example, we all start out with a single cell and end up with somewhere around 50 or 100 trillion cells.

The DNA in all of these cells needed to be copied (not 100 trillion times but a lot). The machinery in our cells that copies our DNA is incredibly good at what it does, but not perfect. Occasionally, it makes a mistake that is not fixed.

Our DNA also changes in response to things like sunlight or the food we eat. Both can damage the DNA causing mistakes to happen.

Coming up with a genetic test looking for these changes is going to be tough. First, these changes are pretty rare. Everyone has about 100 new mutations in their DNA. Sounds like a lot but spread out over 3 billion base pairs, that is quite a needle in a haystack."

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918327)

Would the test be too specific that it ends up not matching either?

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (2)

RKThoadan (89437) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918161)

less than 30 seconds with google produces this:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=identical-twins-genes-are-not-identical [scientificamerican.com]

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918333)

Well, this makes sense as the DNA in one part of your body can also be different from the DNA in another part.

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (1)

Cockatrice_hunter (1777856) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918171)

While they both start with the same data, minor copy errors during DNA replication will eventually mean that they are not 100% identical. The odds of both twins actually mutating in the same way is actually pretty low. Most of these copy errors will occur in the womb, however some can be attributed to environmental factors.

Normal DNA tests take a few locations of the genome and compare them. To be more thorough, you test more points. Eventually you'll find a difference that you can use to compare. It's like comparing two books. You open to the first page and see the same acknowledgement you might assume the same book. But sampling a few more pages and you'll realize that maybe one is partially plagarised from the other.

They should pay it just to show that 'twin' crimes are not uncatchable.

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (1)

alexmipego (903944) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918221)

I'm not a geneticist but although they both started with the same genetic material there are mutations occurring ever since. Diseases and such can also cause additional differences in their DNA. The major source of DNA mutations you hear about is at the moment of "conception" but even a couple mutations after that would make you more "unique".

Of course, in the middle of a trillion DNA sequences, picking up those very few and small changes will be expensive. Most paternity and "identification" DNA tests rely on a few number of specific markers, which btw is why you usually hear things like 98%-99% accuracy and never 100%.

Re:Or IS there even a genetic test?. (4, Informative)

TheSync (5291) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918243)

My understanding is that identical twins -- arising from the same zygote -- are genetically identical. Not just "pretty much identical" as the article states.

Then your understanding is wrong, see this article [scientificamerican.com] :

Geneticist Carl Bruder of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and his colleagues closely compared the genomes of 19 sets of adult identical twins. In some cases, one twin's DNA differed from the other's at various points on their genomes. At these sites of genetic divergence, one bore a different number of copies of the same gene, a genetic state called copy number variants.

It is generally felt that copy number variation (CNV) between MZ twins is generally post-meiosis (i.e. mitosis).

Typical police forensic genetic tests look for a "fingerprint" based on lengths of DNA when cut by particular enzymes. This is unlikely to find CNVs.

Some CNVs might be discoverable with a SNP microarray chip (not super expensive to perform), but it is possible that you may need to do a complete sequence of both twin's DNA to find the needed CNV differentiator.

Win/Win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917827)

Take the tests and pay whatever the costs are.
After the results are in slap the bill on the twin that did not rat on his brother.

Re:Win/Win (2)

PlastikMissle (2498382) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917873)

What if both of them were pointing at the other and saying "he did it!"

Re:Win/Win (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917901)

That would be illegal and probably unconstitutional in most western countries.

Re:Win/Win (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917969)

1 million to spend to get the guilty party behind bars for .... few years as first time offender.

1 million well spent + the costs to incarcerate the convict.

Put both behind bars, other as contempt of justice and other as rapist.

Re:Win/Win (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918295)

Which to you imprison for rape and which for contempt?

Also, odds are they are both claimign to be innocent.
How is it contempt to claim innocence when you actually are?

You reply is ignorant.

Re:Win/Win (1)

shaitand (626655) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918177)

For a win you'd need to slap the bill on the low life that DID rat on his brother.

Justice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917829)

Justice would demand they spend the money to be sure.

Failing that, charge neither.

Re:Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917943)

And where is the justice for the victims?

Re:Justice (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918041)

I would assume that would come after we identify the perpetrator.

Re:Justice (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918067)

It's better for the guilty to go free than for the innocent to be punished.

Re:Justice (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918069)

In the US, the basis of the legal system is that it's better to let ten guilty men go free rather than imprison one innocent man. Of course, this is a French court so they may or may not follow a similar philosophy.

Re: Justice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918187)

That's why there are more prisoners per 100000 citizens than in any other nation, right?

That's why an innocent person never gets executed...well except for the dozens of unfortunate exceptions declared not guilty after being murdered by the state.

Suck it. The US justice and penal system is rotten beyond belief. Just like your political system. Your system does NOT work.

Re:Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918281)

Well for a start, I believe the french justice system is very different to US/english model. It isnt an "adversarial system". Theres no presumption of innocence until
proven guilty as such. Rather than opposing councils arguing for and against, its more of a sort of tribunal where the judge(s) hears evidence from
relevant witnesses and makes a ruling. Its a sort of cooperative effort to uncover the truth.

Re:Justice (1)

brisk0 (2644101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918149)

Not in persecuting an innocent man.

What cost justice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917841)

Is your freedom worth $1 million? Is someone else's?

Evil genes... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917845)

Send them both to the gallows.

Re:Evil genes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917879)

The guillotine, you mean...

Confession? (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917851)

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to get a confession by letting them know they had spent the money and proved it was (one or the other) them and then offer a deal for a plea , and a confession that matches the evidence? Maybe I am missing something. Of course they could just spend the money, it's not like 1mil is some huge sum in the scheme of things.

Re:Confession? (2, Interesting)

terrab0t (559047) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917921)

I am not a French Lawyer, but I think that would be coercion.

Re:Coercion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918055)

I am not a French Lawyer. Here in the USA lying about the evidence would not be coercion. Police are allowed to lie to the suspect, as long as real evidence goes to court. Coercion is a specific threat or harm, like starving the person for days.

Re:Coercion (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918145)

... and that's why those of us in civilised countries consider the US to have a similar legal system to the brutal Sharia law of countries like Afghanistan, Somalia and Mali, among others.

Re:Coercion (4, Informative)

shaitand (626655) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918207)

Here in the Red States of America the prosecution is allowed to specifically threaten you with any ridiculous charges they want to get you to accept a plea bargain. Somehow coercion is allowed for both the police and the prosecution.

Re:Coercion (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918341)

Whereas in the good, honest Blue States of America, we just threaten hackers for political gain until they commit suicide. Much less expensive.

Re:Confession? (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918091)

Nor am I, but I know that tactic is in the states all the time. Fair or not. It's pretty effective if the police are actually interested in catching the guilty party instead of forcing a false confession. (with multiple cases and events it would be pretty easy to figure out if the confession was real or coerced)

Re:Confession? (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918311)

them and then offer a deal for a plea
In Europe we have no such deals.

Fucking brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917859)

And to think, they could have committed murder and been in the same situation. It's like a stay out of jail free card! I wonder how many copycats this will give ideas to. You're going to see twin hitmen, serial killlers, bank robbers, etc. Congress will have to pass a law that in the case of a twin committing a crime, both must do the time.

Re:Fucking brilliant! (1)

DeeEff (2370332) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917985)

But what if they're triplets? It'll just be the same escalation!

only crimes where DNA is left in way that can be u (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918089)

only crimes where DNA is left in way that can be used.

hard to have that happen with a gun or robing a bank.

Re:Fucking brilliant! (1)

shaitand (626655) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918257)

It's actually kind of messed up that they would get away with passing such a law. They aren't allowed to imprison you without due process (except in the situations in which they've given themselves that power because nobody can stop them) but they can make various forms of not committing a crime a crime in itself.

Lawmakers also like to thwart due processing by writing things in saying "x will be construed as sufficient evidence of blah blah."

Not an unexpected event.... (3, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917869)

I have always wondered what would happen when this type of suspect turned up.(suspect having an identical twin)

Every set of identical twins I have known, has deliberately used the 'identity confusion' at some point.

Re:Not an unexpected event.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917967)

What if they are both guilty?

Re:Not an unexpected event.... (1)

mdielmann (514750) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918185)

What if they are both guilty?

Then you've found a system where two criminals can easily manufacture reasonable doubt.

Re:Not an unexpected event.... (1)

shaitand (626655) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918269)

What if neither is guilty?

Re:Not an unexpected event.... (4, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918191)

Identical twins isn't the interesting case. It's the conjoined twins that are the real puzzle. Suppose there are a pair of conjoined twins. One is an artist and hates computers, one is a programmer and hates art. Everybody knows this and will testify to the fact. When the artist goes to sleep, the programmer whips out a laptop and hacks into the Pentagon. He gets caught, gets arrested, and admits guilt... what are you going to do, imprison him?

Not Prisoner's Dilemma! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917877)

If AC actually bothered to read the definition of the prisoner's dilemma he would have determined that this is not the same situation. Sounds good, but wrong. You have two individuals, both know who the guilty party is. The best strategy for each to play is to proclaim their innocence.

TOO MUCH FOR FRENCH !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917911)

Let them motherfucks go so one or both can keep fucking your mothers !!

Crazy fucking we-surrender French !! First to fall, last to rise up !!

Re:TOO MUCH FOR FRENCH !! (1)

chilvence (1210312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918029)

Congratulations, you are an insufferable, unimaginative prick. Go and stick your hands in a blender.

Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917917)

Prisoner's Dilemma?

Nah, the good answer each of them have to speak out is:

"I'm sure my brother will tell you he knows I haven't done anything I'm charged with".

Then, smile :-)

Sincerely,
      Franz Rogar

Re:Solution (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918099)

One brother will always lie and one brother will always tell the truth...

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918353)

They don't know which one to charge to begin with... reading comprehension fail.

Pro Bono Opportunity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917927)

Sounds like a perfect opportunity for a DNA identification company to get free PR for their services.

Is most of the cost from the machine? Or the scientists operating it and performing all of the tests?

Just do the damned test (1)

ogl_codemonkey (706920) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917939)

Sometimes justice is expensive; and sometimes it makes mistakes - but if you can get a definitive answer from a reliable, available test; do it.

Perhaps then bill each of them for half the cost, for not cooperating.

Re:Just do the damned test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918047)

Perhaps then bill each of them for half the cost, for not cooperating.

That would be evil. Selling out your family members is not easy.

Re:Just do the damned test (5, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918053)

Perhaps then bill each of them for half the cost, for not cooperating.

Who says the innocent one isn't cooperating?

Re:Just do the damned test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918093)

Perhaps then bill each of them for half the cost, for not cooperating.

What obligation does a person have to cooperate with law enforcement?

Re:Just do the damned test (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918165)

>Perhaps then bill each of them for half the cost, for not cooperating.

Why would you bill both? If they both say they didn't do it, then one IS cooperating and telling the truth.

You want to charge him half a million dollars for being innocent and telling the truth?

Lock them both up (-1, Troll)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917959)

The prosecutors just need to be more creative.

One is guilty, the other is accessory. Both are obstructing justice.

Re:Lock them both up (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918005)

How exactly is the innocent one proclaiming his innocence obstructing justice?

captcha: unproven

Re:Lock them both up (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918027)

Wow, logic fail. I hope I never see you in a jury...

Re:Lock them both up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918083)

How is claiming you didn't commit a crime when you didn't commit a crime illegal?

And what value is an accusation from someone that neither witnessed the crime, nor has even any hearsay about it?

Unless you mean the one that did commit the crime is obstructing justice. in that case, yup, you can tack that on to his charges. Unless he decided to invoke his right to remain silent or his right not to incriminate himself (pretty sure France has those), in that case... ?

Face it, your idea just sucks.

Re:Lock them both up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918239)

Take the identical twins out of it for a minute and just assume we have a case where there are only 2 valid suspects. It comes down to simple detective work, in this case mostly checking alilbis.

Now, I'm assuming the french police didn't forget how to do detective work when DNA came along, so the most likely issue is they are cooperating with each other either saying "I was alone" or "I was with my brother".

I suppose though its possible 1 twin really was alone and the other was comitting the crimes, which gets you back to square one.

Re:Lock them both up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918097)

The article has no details, if they both claimed to be innocent( or that the other one did it) then there would only be the guilty one. What more can the innocent one (assuming they weren't both involved) do than claim their innocence?

Re:Lock them both up (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918151)

One is guilty, the other is accessory. Both are obstructing justice.

[citation needed]

Re:Lock them both up (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918217)

Let's say Twin A did it.

You presume that Twin B has proof of either their own innocence, or Twin A's guilt.

If Twin B does not, saying "it wasn't me" is not obstructing justice - it's telling the truth, even if Twin A tells a lie when saying the same thing.
Saying "It was him!", similarly, is of no help.

A completely dissimilar, and yet similar, situation occurred in NL a good while back; 'Nijmeegse Scooterzaak' Two kids on a moped, on the run from police, fatal accident. The prosecutor could not prove which of the two was the one operating the vehicle (each said it was the other). As a result, neither could be charged for anything too meaningful.

A lot of people did say "just charge them both, and find them both guilty", but there were quite a few people who said that if we, as a society, go down that road, that would be a terrible mistake to make - considering you are then willingly and knowingly finding an innocent person guilty; even if you don't know which of the two (or more) is the innocent one; also the opinion of the court that reluctantly let them off the hook for the greater charges.

The prosecutor has decided to appeal, though, which would land the case in something of an equivalent to a U.S. Supreme Court. I have no idea when the case is supposed to be heard, however.

Easy solution (5, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917977)

Just charge the one with the goatee.

Re:Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918343)

Yah, but what happens if they swapped their goatees?

Unless French wages are crazy low... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918009)

While '1 million euros' is a big scary number(and certainly higher than evidence handling for more prosaic cases), it isn't exactly free to have a bunch of cops go around swabbing at evidence, a judge, some lawyers, a jury, etc. Processing a case, especially a serious criminal case, just isn't inexpensive. Given the existing acceptance of the relatively high cost of justice, it seems strange to wring hands about an abnormally high cost cropping up in an abnormal case.

Even if justice didn't demand it, it seems like it would be trivially sensible to just quietly pay what it costs to get the DNA analyzed properly, if only to deter others from trying to get cute.

Re:Unless French wages are crazy low... (4, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918127)

it isn't exactly free to have a bunch of cops go around swabbing at evidence, a judge, some lawyers, a jury, etc.

I'm going to guess that neither the judge, the lawyers, nor the jury were exactly thrilled about being swabbed either.

Re:Unless French wages are crazy low... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918189)

That just increases the number of cops the situation requires, it's a nuisance really.

L&O: SVU has prior art (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918031)

Saw this on an episode of Law & Order Special Victims Unit.

And they say television isn't educational...

Re:L&O: SVU has prior art (1)

brisk0 (2644101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918201)

So how did they resolve it? Come on! The justice system needs your help!

Lie Detector Test (1)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918049)

Yes, there are a lot of issues and flaws with it, but it's one option. Another would be to come up with a huge list of possible things that only the criminal would know based on the crimes and quiz them and their whereabouts at the time. Yes, you can lie, but it will be very difficult to come up with enough lies until there is a flaw. One twin may actually have a legitimate alibi (receipt) at the time of the sexual assault with verifiable proof (security cam or employee). If one is given enough time, I bet you can come up with quite a few ways to determine the culprit. You just need enough puzzle pieces to fit together that count as proof enough. If both are guilty, then good, else it's a horrible injustice to a free man. At least we now know that someone actually does have an "evil twin."

Re:Lie Detector Test (2)

cigawoot (1242378) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918209)

Well, I'm not sure how France's legal systems work, but a polygraph test in the US typically doesn't fly in court anyway. Usually they use a polygraph as a means of focusing on a suspect so they can acquire other evidence.

Re:Lie Detector Test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918313)

I'm not familiar with french law.

Can a defendant be compelled to take a lie detector in France?
Can a defendant be compelled to answer potentially self incriminating question in France?
The alibi doesn't work well, because they are identical twins. Unless one has a distinguishing feature (burns, scars, or a tatto) the already unreliable witness (and witnesses are unreliable) becomes FAR more-so.

The problem is without presumption of guilt, each one provides a reasonable doubt for the other.

Re:Lie Detector Test (3, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918321)

"Another would be to come up with a huge list of possible things that only the criminal would know based on the crimes and quiz them and their whereabouts at the time. Yes, you can lie,..."

Only morons talk to the police.

You don't talk to the police.

Ever!

It can only hurt you.

Police were told... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918135)

"Police were told that it would cost upwards of €1m euros (£850,000, $1.3m USD) to distinguish between them using DNA evidence."

Yeah. So? What's the alternative, lock the wrong one or both of them up because "it's cheaper"...???

And compared to everything else? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918147)

Police time + court time + prison time = $$$. I just did a quick check in Norway and at least here it'd equal the cost of 13-14 years of prison time. Sounds totally reasonable to me to get a serial rapist behind bars, I'm guess they're just trying to make the twins realize the futility of their position or to make the government step in with extra money to fund this so it doesn't come out of the local budget. I'd be extremely surprised if they're let go with the message that we couldn't afford to figure out which of you was guilty. In particular because there's nothing stopping them from continuing to assault women. But I'm guessing it's quite possible that they're both in on it and so neither would like the police to solve the case.

Polygraph and interrogation (1)

corychristison (951993) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918159)

I'm in Canada, and the rules may be different but since they have DNA that narrows down to these twins, they are suspects.

Since they are suspects in fairly serious crime, interrogation amd a polygraph would be the simplest amd probably cheapest route at this point.

Again, laws may be different over there.

Re:Polygraph and interrogation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918181)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygraph#Validity

Re:Polygraph and interrogation (0)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918277)

A ball-peen hammer or garden sheers to the knuckles works wonders. Not a lot of sympathy for rapists.

"a series of sexual assaults" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918235)

It could very well be that both are guilty.

UnemployedÃY (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918293)

From the article:
The 24-year-old unemployed delivery drivers, named locally as Elwin and Yohan, were placed under investigation on Friday.
Are they now unemployed or are they delivery drivers? And how likely is it that two twins have the "same job"?

Innocent until proven guilty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918315)

This is a limitation in the justice system to prove guilt.
In most logical nations both would have to be released.

You dont punish the crime of rape with the crime of wrongful imprisonment.

Fingerprints different for twins (1)

Angturil (1276488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918359)

Why not use fingerprint evidence (if there is some).
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