Son of Sam law : サムの息子法

A Son of Sam law is a US English term for any law designed to keep criminals from profiting from the publicity of their crimes, often by selling their stories to publishers.

Son of Sam laws are not intended to enable asset forfeiture, the seizing of assets acquired directly as a result of criminal activity. Where asset forfeiture looks to remove the profitability of crimes by taking away money and assets gained from the crime, Son of Sam laws are designed so that criminals are unable to take advantage of the notoriety of their crimes. Such laws often authorize the state to seize money earned from deals such as book/movie biographies and paid interviews and use it to compensate the criminal’s victims.

The term “Son of Sam” is derived from serial killer David Berkowitz, who used the name during his notorious murder spree in the mid-1970s New York. After his arrest in August 1977, Berkowitz’s intense presence in the media led to widespread speculation that he might sell his story to a writer or filmmaker. Although Berkowitz denied wanting any kind of deal, the New York State Legislature swiftly passed preemptive legal statutes anyway, the first such “Son of Sam law” in the U.S.

In certain cases, a Son of Sam law can be extended beyond the criminals themselves to include friends, neighbors, and family members of the lawbreaker who seek to profit by telling publishers and filmmakers of their relation to the criminal. In other cases, a person may not financially benefit from the sale of a story or any other mementos pertaining to the crime.







Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.