Son of Sam Law


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A generic term referring to any state or US federal law that would prevent a perpetrator convicted of a violent crime from capitalising on the event and profiting from books or other forms of intellectual property related to the crime committed and instead pass any monies gained to the crime’s victims or their families
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such as the Son of Sam Law, as opposed to existing civil actions,
law, and like similar Son of Sam laws throughout most of the country,
From 1977 to 1991, 40 states passed Son of Sam laws, which were not used until 1990 when a challenge came.
Lewis Liebeskind, Back to Basics for Victims: Striking Son of Sam Laws in Favor of an Amended Restitutionary Scheme, 1994 ANN.
(78.) Orly Nosrati, Note, Son of Sam Laws: Killing Free Speech or Promoting Killer Profits?, 20 WHITTIER L.
The Son of Sam law is such a content-based statute.
Kirtley also noted that the fact that the Court would so overwhelmingly strike down the Son of Sam law "is very good and very nice to see."
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, delivering the Court's 8-0 opinion, pointed out: "Had the Son of Sam law been in effect at the time and place of publication, it would have escrowed payment for such works as The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which describes crimes committed by the civil rights leader before he had become a public figure; Civil Disobedience, in which Thoreau acknowledges his refusal to pay taxes and recalls his experience in jail; and even the Confessions of Saint Augustine, in which the author laments "my past foulness and the carnal corruptions of my soul," one instance of which involved the theft of pears from a neighboring vineyard."
Further, while the Court conceded that the state has "a compelling interest in ensuring that victims of crime are compensated by those who harm them," as well as "an undisputed compelling interest in ensuring that criminals do not profit from their crimes," it found the "distinction drawn by the Son of Sam law has nothing to do with the state's interest in transferring the proceeds of crime from criminals to their victims."
Woodland added that Anthony could get herself into legal problems if she publishes the book because of the Son of Sam laws, which was enacted to keep criminals from profiting from their crimes by selling their stories to publishers.