How Doublegangers Cause Mayhem for Justice

Detective Brigid O’Reilly's Legal Problems in Cloak & Dagger

Cloak and Dagger season 1 ended with Detective Brigid O’Reilly surfacing in a swamp after getting shot and doused with otherworldly energy. The only side effects she experienced were glowing eyes and looking very determined.

None of that is a good sign. Spoilers ahead for Detective O’Reilly’s legal problems resulting from her injuries.The season 2 opening episode “Restless Energy” followed a traumatized Detective O’Reilly who was unable to hit her target at the firing range and excessive drinking. After leaving a bar to throw up outside, O’Reilly saw a second reflection of herself in a puddle, who effectively told the drunken O’Reilly the reflection was taking over. What followed was O’Reilly acting more confident, wearing her badge around her neck, and illegally entering suspect property by shooting the lock off the gate. O’Reilly choked a suspect for information before slashing his throat with her bare hand.

The episode shocker was not O’Reilly becoming a murderer…that there was a second Brigid O’Reilly. Tyrone found the “original” O’Reilly bound and gaged on her apartment floor. The episode ended with O’Reilly confronting herself.

The Prime O’Reilly has significant legal problems because of “Mayhem O’Reilly.” If Mayhem is physically identical to the Prime O’Reilly, there is DNA evidence on the murder victim with the slashed throat. Ballistics would show that the bullet shot at the lock on the suspect property came from the Prime O’Reilly’s gun. Literally every act of Mayhem could be traced back to the Prime O’Reilly if the O’Reilly’s are physically identical.

The stakes are very real for Prime O’Reilly, because the death of the suspect paramedic could be First Degree Murder in Louisiana. First Degree Murder is when there is specific intent to kill or inflect great bodily harm while the offender is engaged in aggravated kidnapping. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:30. Holding the paramedic by the throat arguably was aggravated kidnapping, because Mayhem O’Reilly prohibited the paramedic from leaving after removing his body from the crashed ambulance. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:44. However, there is an argument that the paramedic was under arrest, but there are questions whether the arrest was valid given the 4th Amendment violation of entering the property by force without a warrant or exigent circumstance.

If all of the requirements for First Degree Murder are not met, Mayhem O’Reilly could be charged with Second Degree Murder, which is when the offender has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:30.1. Slashing a man’s throat after squeezing information out of him clearly is “specific intent” to kill.

A dead body that has O’Reilly’s DNA on it is highly concerning for her, because Second Degree Murder and Kidnapping can be punished in Louisiana by “life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole.” La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:30.1 and La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:44. First Degree Murder can carry the death sentence.

Proving someone with identical DNA and fingerprints committed a crime is the stuff of comic books. While the story takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that is still a tall order for a jury to believe. Perhaps if there were GPS location data for each O’Reilly with time stamps and video evidence, there might be a way to exonerate Prime O’Reilly. Alternatively, if both O’Reilly’s were captured and charged with the same crimes, there would be a strong “beyond reasonable doubt,” because a jury would not convict both O’Reilly’s knowing one was the innocent one.