Have you ever heard of the 'Son of Sam' law in New York State? The law helps the victims and families harmed by criminals.

Photo by Larry Farr on Unsplash
Photo by Larry Farr on Unsplash

Who Is David Richard Berkowitz AKA The Son Of Sam?

Born Richard David Falco, on June 1, 1953, is also known as the Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer. He grew up in New York City, specifically the Bronx. His known killing spree began in NYC on July 29, 1976. Even though he is infamous, his spree only lasted around a year - July 29, 1976 – July 31, 1977. Berkowitz 6 killed people by shooting them and he wounded 11 people. Berkowitz was arrested on August 10, 1977, after attempting to kill another victim the day before. He was sentenced to serve a 25-year life sentence for each murder and is currently being held at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in New York.

Video Credit: CBS New York via Youtube

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The 'Son of Sam' law targeted Berkowitz after he was arrested and sentenced for his crimes. Because of the media frenzy surrounding Berlowitz, authorities were worried that he might sell his story to a movie producer or book publishing company. In response, the New York State Legislature passed the first legal restriction of its kind in the U.S. on a person convicted of a crime from profiting from selling their story.

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Book publisher Simon & Schuster challenged New York's 'Son of Sam' law, which was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1991. Since then, the law has undergone several changes.

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"After numerous revisions, New York adopted a new "Son of Sam" law in 2001. This law requires that victims of crimes be notified whenever a person convicted of a crime receives $10,000 (US) or more from virtually any source. The law attaches a springing statute of limitations, giving victims an extended period of time to sue the perpetrator of the crime in civil court for their crimes and to potentially receive damages."

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Ridiculous Laws in New York State

Believe it or not, these are some of the dumbest, stupidest, and most ridiculous rules in all of New York State.

Gallery Credit: Dan McGuire

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