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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72315 Find in a Library
Title: In Cold Type - Statutory Approaches to the Problem of the Offender as Author
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:71  Issue:3  Dated:(Fall 1980)  Pages:255-274
Author(s): J Rothman
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article compares New York's and Florida's statutes concerning the problem of offenders making profits as a result of writing books or articles about their criminal acts.
Abstract: New York enacted its literary profits statute, Executive Law No. 632-a, to prevent a killer from profiting from stories about his crime. In New York, anyone who contracts for the story of a person accused or convicted of a crime must deposit the proceeds of the contract with a crime victims' compensation board which holds the funds in escrow for 5 years. The offender receives any funds remaining in the account after the 5 years. The majority of statutes curbing criminal rewards are modeled after New York's law. Florida's statute, however, places a statutory lien on the proceeds of a convicted felon's account of his crime. Then 25 percent of the funds are distributed to the dependents of the offender, 25 percent to victims of the crime, and 50 percent to the State. Both statutes are thoroughly examined and described. The article concludes that the provision of material incentives for offenders to sell their stories, as provided by the New York act, fulfills two goals: encouraging dissemination of information and providing restitution to the victim. The New York statute also provides victims with a first claim to the proceeds to the extent of their actual damages, while the Florida law gives the victim considerable less than actual damages and, therefore, is inadequate. The New York statute shows it is possible for the victims' equitable rights to be advanced while safeguarding the offenders' constitutional rights. A total of 158 case notes are cited. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Florida; New York; Offenders; Restitution; State laws; Victim compensation
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