If "another me" from some alternate reality comes to meet me and I kill him for some reason, and I am caught by police; could I be convicted of any crime in the U.S.?

(This question was originally posted on WorldBuilding but I was told it would be more on-topic here.)

  • Because the criminal justice system would be unaware of alternate reality, the case would proceed no differently from any other, so that assumption makes the question somewhat uninteresting. But without that assumption, the question is unanswerable here, because there is no legislation or court precedent concerning people from "alternate realities." – phoog Oct 15 '17 at 13:13
  • The police and the courts would assume that you murdered your twin brother, who somehow managed to hide his existence for a long time. (I suppose that DNA testing would indicate that he is your twin brother). – gnasher729 Oct 15 '17 at 15:19
  • @gnasher729 that could be the possible explanation by the police? Is it possible to hide completely from the government? No birth certificate...? – McGucket Oct 15 '17 at 15:25
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    Apparently your "twin brother" managed somehow. But it doesn't matter really. The police has a dead body and a murderer. Sure, they'd want to know exactly what is going on, but dead body + murderer is enough legally. – gnasher729 Oct 15 '17 at 19:21

Under U.S. laws there is no need to identify the victim to charge and convict a person of murder.

Furthermore, the identity of the victim does not offer any defense against a charge of murder under any U.S. law.


(Just to clarify this answer should it be considered in isolation: Given circumstances that are not contemplated in the question, the identity of the victim could contribute to a claim of .)

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    I know what you mean, particularly in the context of the question, but to be nit picky, an indictment does have to identify some particular victim, not necessarily by name or date of birth or even gender or nationality, but in some way that distinguishes the person who died allegedly because he/she/they were murdered by the defendant, from other people who died who were not allegedly killed by the defendant. Otherwise the indictment would be dismissed. The indictment might say, e.g., the defendant is charged with killing "J. Doe whose body was found a 14 Main St., NY, NY at 14:23, 6-2-17." – ohwilleke Oct 16 '17 at 17:08
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    @ohwilleke: Right – so a victim must be "named," but not "identified" in the context of the original question. I.e., even if possible, the State need not perform forensic identification of the victim to the point where someone would say, "Wait a minute, the victim is biologically indistinguishable from the accused!" And even if someone did say that, it would not disrupt the legal process of prosecuting and convicting the accused for his actions. – feetwet Oct 16 '17 at 17:46

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