Who is your Daddy Identical Twin Child Support

Identical Twin Child Support

I just read a fascinating legal case recently adjudicated in Brazil and it brings up some interesting questions, for me at least. It involves identical twin child support payments. It seems a pair of brothers have long used their identical twin status to impersonate one another, particularly in regards to swapping sexual partners without the knowledge of the woman.

In any case, a girl was impregnated by one of them and a DNA test proves this but not which one. The judge ordered both the men to pay child support in lieu of a second, more refined test that only sometimes differentiates between identical twins.

The Legal Ramification of Identical Twin Child Support

The case is salacious and thus getting headlines in the news but what interests me is the more esoteric legal questions. If it is sometimes impossible to use DNA to differentiate between identical twins, then who is the criminal, or in this case, the father?

In the United States the standard for conviction is proving the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defendant has an identical twin and neither of them has alibis for the time of the crime, how am I to convict one or the other?

In the case of the identical twin child support, we know for a fact that a man who is not the father is now legally required to pay for the upbringing of the child. In the case of a murder or other crime, the punishment might well be years in prison.

What’s a juror to decide? What’s a judge to decide on appeal? Certainly, an appeal of any conviction is perfectly reasonable, I didn’t do it, it was my identical twin.

Wrongly Convicted

There are all sorts of expert witnesses who end up sending the wrong person to jail. I wrote years ago about how Blood Spatter Analysis is largely a bogus science and yet it still results in convictions.

In the case of DNA analysis, the chance for an unjust conviction is greatly reduced, which is a great thing. It’s not perfect and this case illustrates one of the problems.

I recognize the situation of the identical twin child support is quite rare in the annals of criminal law but I still find it fascinating.


If a case like this went to trial and you found yourself as a juror, what do you think is the correct resolution?

Who should go to prison if one, undetermined, identical twin commits a crime?

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Tom Liberman

Stadium Collapse or Misleading Headline?

Stadium Collapse BrazilI’m tempted to create a series of posts entitled “Misleading Headlines” as the practice of putting headlines on stories that sensationalize articles to the point where they are misleading is becoming all the more common. I could write a daily post about ridiculous, attention promoting headlines from the online financial adviser Motley Fool.

In this case there was a story about a stadium collapse that caught my eye because of a comment a friend made over lunch the other day.

I’m a football fan and by that I mean a soccer fan. The World Cup is approaching and it is being held in the football mad nation of Brazil. The Brazilians are arguably the most successful national team in the history of soccer and having the World Cup played in their nation is a matter of tremendous local pride.

Back to that lunch. My friend heard that there were pollution problems in Brazil associated with upcoming 2016 Olympics and a bit of research on my part showed that they do have considerable issues in regards to fecal matter in the various waterways that will serve as venues for some sports in the game.

When I read about the “Stadium Collapse” I thought to myself that this was another example of problems within Brazil associated with upcoming sporting events.

The article was updated and in reading it I learned that a construction crane fell. This then caused a chain reaction that tore down part of the roof and a scoreboard in the stadium. While the incident is horrible and two people were killed it’s hardly what I would call a “Stadium Collapse”.

A crane fell on a building and caused some damage. That’s what happened.

Anyway, for those of you who thought, as I did, that a stadium had actually collapses, that’s the real story.

Stay tuned for more misleading headlines!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Next Release: The Broken Throne