They are not patents. They are applications submitted to try to get a granted patent and are by the same inventors. By looking in the USPTO Public PAIR database I see that they were both rejected and both went abandoned. It isn't clear why they filed two similar applications in this case.
There are many reasons to file similar applications. Sometimes something was accidentally left out and since "new matter" can't be added once an application is filed you might need to file another application just a short time later to fix it. Also there are many continuation applications and divisional applications with identical content to their parent application except for the claims. This can happen because the initial application covered too much ground to be considered at the same time.
In order to file under the new prioritized, accelerated, pay-to-go-fast AIA option you need to request it at the time of filing. If you have already filed and then decide to go "track I" you would need to refile.
Sometimes a long specification is written to describe a complex system and then multiple applications are filed for different aspects of the system. The claims would be dirrected to the specific aspect and inventors might be the same, overlapping, or enirely distinct.