Since the institution of the earliest human societies, the unprovoked killing of an other person has generally been accepted as something one ought not to do. Every major religion has standard prohibitions against killing without just cause, and every nation built by followers of these religions has laws in place to support that view. On the surface, such laws may seem like common sense, requiring one with even the most remedial understanding of decency to agree and act accordingly. Unfortunately, the reality of the human condition, indeed reality itself, is not so simple, and murder statutes embody far too great a risk of a grievous miscarriage of justice. We will not dispute that killing people is wrong; instead, we will show that the enforcement of outmoded, primeval murder statutes is an even worse crime in our modern times, in light of more recent scientific discoveries.
Imagine, for a moment, you have been arrested, arraigned, and charged with murder of your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be). Every year, tens of thousands of people are subjected to this stressful, terrifying experience in the U.S. alone. If found guilty by a jury of peers, you will at the very least spend the majority of the remainder of your natural life incarcerated against your will in abysmal living conditions, away from your family and home, with the threat of violence seemingly around every corner. But in some states, your fate could be even worse: you yourself could be put to death. Obviously, we would all want to avoid this kind of situation, but is it always possible? Some sources estimate that "at least 10 percent of those convicted of serious and violent crimes are completely innocent." (Mc Closkey, http://www.truthinjustice.org/convicting.htm) While it may not be you or I that suffers needlessly, such a percentage is definitely statistically significant; a given juror is more likely to accidentally condemn an innocent man to death (a one in ten chance) than to roll "boxcars" in a game of craps (one in thirty-six). But with a legal system as nearly perfect and infallible as our own, how can we possibly account for such a discrepancy? For that answer, we surprisingly must turn to modern physics.
With the growing popularity of certain fields within the physics research community, such as quantum mechanics, string theory, and contemporary astrophysics, scientists and mathematicians have stumbled across astonishing discoveries in seemingly unrelated areas. For instance, one field of astrophysics is concerned with measurement of radiation as it shambles through the cosmos. By analyzing readings, certain assumptions can be made with quantifiable statistical assurity about the nature of the Universe (with a capital U). For instance, by reading the patterns of the ambient microwave noise in space, scientists are able to determine that the "shape" of the Universe is relatively "flat" (as opposed to spherical or donut-shaped) and that the distribution of matter throughout is very uniform as scale of measurement increases. The immediate implication is that Space as we know it is in fact infinite. Because the concept of infinity is a very radical one for our finite minds to deal with, and a very difficult factor to quantify, for the sake of this argument we will define Infinite Space as "sufficiently large such that regardless of speed, one could not reach the limit." In other words, it is so mind bogglingly vast that even if it does come to an end somewhere, for all intents and purposes, it may as well never end. We should also define what exactly we mean when we say "Universe" (capital U) and "universe" (lowercase u). If we accept that the Universe (where we reside) had a discrete moment of creation, before which there was nothing of what we know now, then the distance we can see and therefore the amount of the Universe that can be observed is limited by the speed of light. Scientists estimate that the Universe is approximately 14 billion years old. Because of this age, and factoring in the continued expansion of the Universe, we can observe about 44 billion light years in any given direction. This sphere or knowledge, or "Hubble Volume," forms the extents of our Known Universe. When scientists refer to "the Universe," this is that to which they refer. In a more general sense, "universe" would be taken to mean any given Hubble Volume centered at any given point in the infinity of Space. If we somehow found ourselves somewhere hundreds of billions of light years away, we would effectively be in a completely different universe, because none of us would be alive long enough to ever observe anything from the Universe we all know. Now, when mathematicians look at results such as Infinite Space and discreet universes defined by Hubble Volumes, their inner combinatorics statisticians spark to life, and get the wheels of progress turning at breakneck speed; what would happen if we calculated the number of possible configurations of any hypothetical matter in a given universe region? The answer, as it turns out, is that there is somewhere about 10 to the 10th to the 128th power different combinations possible for all known quantum states of matter in such a volume (including non-existence). In a finite universe,this number is so huge as to be basically meaningless. But in the context of Infinite Space, it becomes rapidly clear that if Space is sufficiently large (i.e. large enough to hold over 10 to the 10th to the 128th Hubble Volume universes) by necessity the possible configurations of matter will being to repeat. That is to say, if Space is indeed infinite, then statistics tells us that right now there is at least one other universe EXACTLY like our own, but probability dictates that in reality there will be literally innumerable instances that match exactly, atom for atom. This is not to say that any such identical parallel universe was always exactly like our own, or that in the future it will continue to be, but at any given instance, there is at least one universe that exactly matches our own.
But what, you may ask, does all this scientific babble have to do with the inherent logistical difficulties of properly administering justice? The answer is two fold. First, the obvious logical extension to the existence of identical parallel universes is that there will be at least one universe with an exact copy of you, the reader. And second, there will be doppleganger copies of everyone else, as well. But why are these significant? Let us assume the unfortunate hypothetical situation I described at the beginning came true (heaven forbid) and you were charged with murdering someone. There was copious DNA evidence linking you to the crime, eyewitnesses and video surveillance alike peg you dead on as committing the act, and they find a notarized affidavit, in your hand writing, covered in your fingerprints, hair, and skin flakes stating, "I have killed this person." And then signed with your name. With your business card stapled in the corner. Any sane person would not hesitate to convict, and yet you know you are innocent. The problem here, of course, is that with an infinite number of copies of you in parallel universes, all bearing identical DNA, indistinguishable at the quantum level, the actual culprit could have easily been any of them. It is impossible to know we have found the guilty party; even if we can say with 100 percent assurity that is was Rod Johnson of 123 Fake Street, matching a given description, with a given genetic profile, there is no way for us to know it was THIS Rod Johnson, of THIS 123 Fake Street, in THIS Universe. In addition, if there are copies of you out there, identical copies of the murder victim similarly exist; in a sense, they are not really dead. Sure, in this Universe, and countless others just like it, the victim is dead. But in at least one other universe, and more likely billions upon billions of parallel but not wholly identical universes, they are still alive. And in fact, they have been alive for almost as long as Creation has existed, and probably will continue to exist until all universes, or the Multiverse, comes to some spectacular demise.
Murder statutes must be repealed, and repealed now, before more quantum parallel universe evil twins put innocent men in prison or condemn them to death. By decriminalizing murder, we take a giant leap toward truly understanding the nature of existence, by acknowledging that even when someone dies, they are not really gone at all. They are just someplace else. Or someplaces else.
"Convicting the Innocent," James Mc Closkey, http://www.truthinjustice.org/convicting.htm
"Parallel Universes," Max Tegmark, Scientific American, May 2003.