PDA

View Full Version : Son of Sam law



mr.brighteyes
02-11-2009, 06:56 AM
Citation: IND. CODE ANN. 5-2-6.3-3 (Burns 2000)
History: Enacted in 1982.

TITLE 5. STATE AND LOCAL ADMINISTRATION
ARTICLE 2. LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS -- FIRE-FIGHTING PERSONNEL
CHAPTER 6.3. BROADCAST OR PUBLICATION OF CRIME STORIES OF ACCUSED OR CONVICTED FELONS

Burns Ind. Code Ann. 5-2-6.3-3 (2000)

5-2-6.3-3. Income paid to division -- Notice to victims or heirs

(a) If:
(1) A responsible party derives income or other proceeds directly or indirectly from a felony of which the responsible party has been accused or convicted:
(A) The responsible party; or
(B) Any other person that possesses or controls the income or proceeds; shall transfer ninety percent (90%) of the income or proceeds to the division; and

(2) A person contracts with a responsible party after August 31, 1982, for:
(A) The publication of;
(B) The broadcasting of; or
(C) A speaking engagement in which the responsible party speaks about;

the responsible party's thoughts, feelings, opinions, or emotions regarding a felony of which the responsible party has been accused or convicted, the person shall submit a copy of the contract to the division and shall pay to the division ninety percent (90%) of the money that would otherwise, by terms of the contract, be owed to the responsible party.


Does this mean I can't commit a felony and then write a book about it.

PatrickG
02-11-2009, 07:11 AM
the responsible party's thoughts, feelings, opinions, or emotions regarding a felony of which the responsible party has been accused or convicted, the person shall submit a copy of the contract to the division and shall pay to the division ninety percent (90%) of the money that would otherwise, by terms of the contract, be owed to the responsible party.


Can anybody say unconstitutional?

You can't make laws that govern the rights so strictly of someone not convicted of a crime.

In this instance, all it would take is for people to start frivolously making felony accusations against writers, graphic artists and entertainers in Indiana and you could put an end to art as a profession.

Interestingly, my reading of this WOULD suggest that felons or accused felons could do live theater, unless that counts as a speaking engagement.

But if I lived in Indiana, I'd be tempted to try to put something together at a theater where we have convicted and accused felons expressing themselves through silent walk-on roles and dance. No publication. No broadcast. No speaking. Guerrilla expression.

section 8
02-11-2009, 08:10 AM
Hunter S Thompson is spinning

Sean Walsh
02-11-2009, 08:59 AM
Hunter S Thompson is spinning

I agree.

(Didn't they shoot him out of a cannon? I'd probably still be spinning if I was shot out of a cannon...)

section 8
02-11-2009, 09:40 AM
I agree.

(Didn't they shoot him out of a cannon? I'd probably still be spinning if I was shot out of a cannon...)

It was his idea to have his ashes shot out of a cannon over Owl Farm.

MacQuarrie
02-11-2009, 09:48 AM
Can anybody say unconstitutional?

You can't make laws that govern the rights so strictly of someone not convicted of a crime.

In this instance, all it would take is for people to start frivolously making felony accusations against writers, graphic artists and entertainers in Indiana and you could put an end to art as a profession.

Interestingly, my reading of this WOULD suggest that felons or accused felons could do live theater, unless that counts as a speaking engagement.

But if I lived in Indiana, I'd be tempted to try to put something together at a theater where we have convicted and accused felons expressing themselves through silent walk-on roles and dance. No publication. No broadcast. No speaking. Guerrilla expression.

Read it again. It only applies to work based on or about the felony in question. Like when OJ peddled his "If I Did It" book; the proceeds from that book should go to the estates of the victims, even if OJ is innocent; he should not profit from the notoriety of having been attached to the case by writing a book about it.

Grazzt
02-11-2009, 09:51 AM
Read it again. It only applies to work based on or about the felony in question. Like when OJ peddled his "If I Did It" book; the proceeds from that book should go to the estates of the victims, even if OJ is innocent; he should not profit from the notoriety of having been attached to the case by writing a book about it.

What about someone who has been falsely accused, serves some time, then new evidence exonerates them? Don't they deserve to make money off the mistakes of the government?

Sarah Beach
02-11-2009, 10:40 AM
It could be argued that the "accused" part applies only to the state of being "formally indicted for a crime". Since people who are merely "under suspicion" have successfully written and marketed books.

However, if after publication, they become formally indicted, and then are convicted, income from that publication (or whatever) could possibly be garnished, as proceeds of a crime.

Edit to Add:

What about someone who has been falsely accused, serves some time, then new evidence exonerates them? Don't they deserve to make money off the mistakes of the government?


Note the key word highlighted there: exonerates. That means, "as if it did not happen". So yes, if they are exonerated, they are free to write about their experiences.

Grazzt
02-11-2009, 10:52 AM
Note the key word highlighted there: exonerates. That means, "as if it did not happen". So yes, if they are exonerated, they are free to write about their experiences.

Okay, so Mac's saying that being found not guilty means you can't profit off of the experience, but you're saying serving some time for the crime before they realise their mistake does allow you to right a book or make a movie or whatever. So why is there a difference?

Sarah Beach
02-11-2009, 11:02 AM
Okay, so Mac's saying that being found not guilty means you can't profit off of the experience, but you're saying serving some time for the crime before they realise their mistake does allow you to right a book or make a movie or whatever. So why is there a difference?

That may be what Mac's saying, but that wasn't the basis of the ruling on OJ's book.

Much as we would like it to be that the "can't profit from the crime" factor was crucial in that situation (and that is certainly the feelings attached to the ruling), what in fact the ruling was about was that the proceeds of the book constituted new income not subject to the exemption of garnishment in the civil judgement: a judgement of several million dollars to the estates of Goldman & Brown, which had not been fulfilled to date. The proceeds of the book were consigned to the estates as payment toward that judgement.

It had nothing - legally - to do with "profiting from a crime." Because OJ was acquitted in the criminal case.

MacQuarrie
02-11-2009, 11:33 AM
What about someone who has been falsely accused, serves some time, then new evidence exonerates them? Don't they deserve to make money off the mistakes of the government?

Sure. But the law says 90% goes to the victims. Seems reasonable to me. If you're innocent, but closely enough connected to the case to be accused of committing the crime, wouldn't you want the victims to be compensated?

PatrickG
02-11-2009, 12:04 PM
Sure. But the law says 90% goes to the victims. Seems reasonable to me. If you're innocent, but closely enough connected to the case to be accused of committing the crime, wouldn't you want the victims to be compensated?

I'm not sure.

My roommate was murdered. And the thought of the killer profiting off his story disturbs me. But at the same time, if he wanted to write his perspective, I wouldn't want him to be discouraged from doing so because there's no money in it.

Rather than garnishing the royalties as a matter of course, I'd rather see CONVICTED (not accused) criminals be subject to higher scrutiny against accusations of libel and subject to paying up to and including full rights to their work in the instance that a victim is libeled.

Beyond that, the relevant issue with OJ IMHO is the wrongful death settlement. I think it was a kind of double jeopardy to try him for wrongful death... but I also think the finding in that case (which shouldn't have happened, ideally, but did) should have resulted in a transfer of some or all of his story rights.

I think IP needs to be a squarely civil issue. Laws regarding royalties may adjust standards in a civil court but I would really prefer if all property disputes which are not imminently related (and I don't think an account of a murder is imminently related to the actual murder proceedings as long as there's no active case) were strictly civil matters.

And "accused" MEANS "innocent" in our legal system. Doesn't matter if you're on trial. Until convicted, you remain innocent.

Instead of applying to "accused or convicted" felons, I would be much more comfortable with it applying to convicted felons, with a proviso that you may be liable for retroactive damages for works generated in response to the incident UPON (and only upon) conviction.

PatrickG
02-11-2009, 12:10 PM
Sure. But the law says 90% goes to the victims. Seems reasonable to me. If you're innocent, but closely enough connected to the case to be accused of committing the crime, wouldn't you want the victims to be compensated?

I disagree. You shouldn't be compelled to feel compassion for the victims. If you were under that much suspicion, there's a chance that you may be someone who hates the victims or has a legitimate grudge.

At the very least, while retroactively taking money from victims would be crass, I think an immediate and non-retroactive restoration of full rights upon exoneration would be fair.

You're falsely accused. Someone who there is reasonable evidence to suggest that you don't like probably cooperates in getting you falsely imprisoned. I would suggest that any garnishing should at least stop once you've been cleared. And I think you may be entitled to get the money back that was garnished... However, in the interests of some civility, I would prefer that either the state (not the victims) be held liable for garnished royalties or that the matter is simply resolved with any garnishments ending immediately, but not retroactively.

Grazzt
02-11-2009, 12:13 PM
Sure. But the law says 90% goes to the victims. Seems reasonable to me. If you're innocent, but closely enough connected to the case to be accused of committing the crime, wouldn't you want the victims to be compensated?

That depends. If a victim or the relative of a victim picked me out of a police lineup, and I get sent to jail for a few years before DNA evidence exonerates me, why should I care what they get? They've made my life a living hell, albeit without malice.

Slam_Bradley
02-11-2009, 12:16 PM
Sure. But the law says 90% goes to the victims. Seems reasonable to me. If you're innocent, but closely enough connected to the case to be accused of committing the crime, wouldn't you want the victims to be compensated?


I'm not sure it's possible for me to disagree with this more.

mr.brighteyes
02-11-2009, 12:24 PM
I'm not sure it's possible for me to disagree with this more.

Care to explain why?

For the record the reason I asked was because I am virtually unemployable and I was fantasizing last night about committing some book worthy crime that I could write about while in prison.

I saw it on a CSI clip on youtube

MacQuarrie
02-11-2009, 01:07 PM
I'm not sure.

My roommate was murdered. And the thought of the killer profiting off his story disturbs me. But at the same time, if he wanted to write his perspective, I wouldn't want him to be discouraged from doing so because there's no money in it.
I want him discouraged from doing so. I want him discouraged to death.

MacQuarrie
02-11-2009, 01:16 PM
I think the intent of the law is pretty clear, and it would certainly be up to a judge as to whether to apply it or not. One of the major problems we have today is detailed in an excellent book called "The Death of Common Sense", which deals with exactly this kind of nonsense. Getting caught up in all the possible loopholes and misapplications of the law is basically a rejection of common sense.

The intent of the law is simply to prevent criminals from cashing in on their crimes. Since occasionally criminals get away with it (e.g. Orenthal James Simpson) the law needs to be worded in such a way that he will never be able to make a buck off his homicidal notoriety, even if he managed to avoid conviction. We can't prove he did it, but it's obvious that his book is intended to exploit the case, and that's what's really at issue. A guy falsely accused who wants to tell his side of the story is a whole different thing, isn't it?

Obviously no law can cover every possible eventuality; that's why we have judges. In all the possible scenarios being laid out, any judge worthy of his gavel would rule in favor of the innocent party.

MacQuarrie
02-11-2009, 01:20 PM
Instead of applying to "accused or convicted" felons, I would be much more comfortable with it applying to convicted felons, with a proviso that you may be liable for retroactive damages for works generated in response to the incident UPON (and only upon) conviction.
But what if the guy really is guilty and the jury acquitted him? He can't be tried again (double jeopardy), so he should be allowed to profit from his crime in addition to getting away with it?

Grazzt
02-11-2009, 01:36 PM
But what if the guy really is guilty and the jury acquitted him? He can't be tried again (double jeopardy), so he should be allowed to profit from his crime in addition to getting away with it?

If that's the only way to allow people who were wrongfully accused to profit off their experiences, then yes. Really, I'd prefer to allow 1000 OJs to make a profit than to prevent one, say, David Milgaard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Milgaard).

Slam_Bradley
02-11-2009, 01:38 PM
But what if the guy really is guilty and the jury acquitted him? He can't be tried again (double jeopardy), so he should be allowed to profit from his crime in addition to getting away with it?


There are civil remedies in that case, in which the burden of proof is lower than in a criminal trial.

And, frankly, I'll take my chances with that rather than screwing the accused who isn't convicted, simply because he was accused.

section 8
02-11-2009, 01:54 PM
Care to explain why?

For the record the reason I asked was because I am virtually unemployable and I was fantasizing last night about committing some book worthy crime that I could write about while in prison.

I saw it on a CSI clip on youtube

Well if it isn't original, it probably is not worth it.

MacQuarrie
02-11-2009, 01:57 PM
If that's the only way to allow people who were wrongfully accused to profit off their experiences, then yes. Really, I'd prefer to allow 1000 OJs to make a profit than to prevent one, say, David Milgaard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Milgaard).

Milgaard's case is a terrible one; what does it have to do with the subject at hand? Answer: Nothing.

Grazzt
02-11-2009, 02:02 PM
Milgaard's case is a terrible one; what does it have to do with the subject at hand? Answer: Nothing.

I was just using him as a hypothetical because I remember seeing a movie on him, which made me wonder if he received any money from their telling his story. And how much less he would receive if there had been some stupid law like the one on discussion in this thread.

PatrickG
02-11-2009, 04:23 PM
I want him discouraged from doing so. I want him discouraged to death.

Well, that's fine by me. But as long as he's breathing, I do have some questions I'd like answered or at least grounds to hate him more.

MacQuarrie
02-11-2009, 05:40 PM
I was just using him as a hypothetical because I remember seeing a movie on him, which made me wonder if he received any money from their telling his story. And how much less he would receive if there had been some stupid law like the one on discussion in this thread.
None. Since his story is one of being falsely accused, imprisoned and ultimately exonerated, he would be profiting off his own story, not off the murder he was cleared of. This law would not affect him in the slightest. It would apply to the guy who actually did the killing.

Grazzt
02-11-2009, 05:48 PM
None. Since his story is one of being falsely accused, imprisoned and ultimately exonerated, he would be profiting off his own story, not off the murder he was cleared of. This law would not affect him in the slightest. It would apply to the guy who actually did the killing.

But technically if he were telling his story he'd have to discuss the felony itself on some level. It seems to me that it would be too easy for a greedy family (or other heir) to try to profit off of that using laws like the one cited in the opening post. The easiest way to fix that is to simply remove the "accused" part of the law: exoneration would fix the convicted part and then he (or any other person charged with a crime they didn't commit) would be in the clear.

So a few guilty people who evade conviction will try to take advantage of it. Slam says that there are civil protections in that case, anyway, so why worry too much?

MacQuarrie
02-11-2009, 07:22 PM
But technically if he were telling his story he'd have to discuss the felony itself on some level. It seems to me that it would be too easy for a greedy family (or other heir) to try to profit off of that using laws like the one cited in the opening post. The easiest way to fix that is to simply remove the "accused" part of the law: exoneration would fix the convicted part and then he (or any other person charged with a crime they didn't commit) would be in the clear.

So a few guilty people who evade conviction will try to take advantage of it. Slam says that there are civil protections in that case, anyway, so why worry too much?

The law wouldn't apply to him. Once he's been exonerated, he is no longer an accused felon.