No more painful profits

Published 2:58 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We have to applaud the Alabama Legislature for passing the ‘Son of Sam’ law, named for the notorious “Son of Sam” killer, who made money off the book he wrote about his crimes while still in prison.

Victims’ families should never have to deal with the pain of reliving a violent crime and, even worse, watching the perpetrator actually make money off their pain. This legislation ensures that, even if criminals do recreate their crimes through art or writing, any profits will go right back to the victims and the families.

We have to wonder, though — what prevented officials from passing this bill the past two times it was brought for consideration? This is one of those bills that just makes common sense, as Rep. Cam Ward said.

Why wouldn’t this pass the first time around? Surely lawmakers weren’t concerned about passing muster with public opinion. Actually, this bill is probably worth a few brownie points with Alabama citizens, who usually want their public officials to be tough on crime.

Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for allowing violent criminals to make a mockery of their victims’ anguish.

While the third time may have been the charm, it should never have taken this long to pass this bill. We thank Rep. Ward for tirelessly continuing this fight over the past three years. Now his hard work is finally rewarded.