Son of Sam law protects

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Thanks to state Representative Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), Alabama could join 42 other states in passing the &8220;Son of Sam&8221; law and stop felons from profiting from crime.

Ward recently introduced a bill that passed in the House that would send any profit from anything that advances the notoriety of a convicted felon to the victim of his or her crime as restitution. This includes movie rights, book deals, drawings, paintings or any other personal items.

Ward introduced the bill after two death row inmates in Alabama began selling graphic descriptions of their crimes online.

One can only imagine the pain felt by a family member who, not only lost a loved one to violent crime, but who has to also sit back and watch the person who is supposed to be punished for that crime making profit off graphic descriptions of what they did to those loved ones.

In many states, convicted felons lose the right to vote and to purchase firearms.

While we as journalists believe the right to free speech is one of the most important of rights in this country, in this case it is not free speech that is in question, but the ability to profit from crime.

We believe a convicted felon can tell his story, but he or she should not benefit financially from hurting others.

Ward has shown great conviction in introducing or co-sponsoring bills to make life better for people in Shelby County and Alabama.

We commend him this time for looking out for the victims of violent crime.

Money will not bring back a loved one, but it makes more sense for profit to go to the victim of a crime than the person who committed the crime