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Son of Son of Sam Laws

In 1977, the New York Legislature passed the first "Son of Sam Law" to prevent a notorious serial killer from cashing in on his own crime with a book deal.  Other states followed.  The Supreme Court eventually struck down the New York law in Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Members of the New York State Crime Victims Board, 502 U.S. 105 (1991).  While some states have amended their laws to get around that decision, a more effective method is sometimes just to get a plain old tort judgment against the perpetrator for more than that person will ever have, book deal and all.

An advantage of the plain old tort suit is that it can be used even if a boneheaded jury in the criminal case lets the perpetrator off.  Fred Goldman famously got a whopping civil judgment against O.J. Simpson that scuttled his book deal and reduced him to game of asset hide-and-seek, eventually ending in a robbery that finally put him in the slammer where he belongs.

Can this be applied to the Casey Anthony case?  Unfortunately, Caylee's other next of kin is her father, and God only knows who that is.  Well, maybe Casey does, but she hasn't said.

WSJ Law Blog has this post, and WFTV has this story on claims for reimbursement by agencies that spent large sums investigating Caylee's disappearance as a result of lies by Casey.  Unfortunately, these claims won't be enough to soak up a multimillion dollar book deal, if Casey gets one, and the acquittal will likely preclude application of even the revised Son of Sam laws.

Maybe every guy in Florida who thinks he might be the father should come forward to be DNA tested.  It could be a large group, but the odds are better than the state lottery.  Somebody, anybody, needs to soak up that book deal money.  For Casey Anthony to become a millionaire out of this would be beyond obscene.

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