Murderous hands: It's time to change the law
Compensation for the victims of the thief Colton Harris-Moore edged ahead this week with Robert Zemeckis signing on to help develop a movie based on the life of the “Barefoot Bandit.” The Hollywood Reporter said that Zemeckis (“Romancing the Stone,” “Back to the Future,” “Who Framed Rober Rabbit?”) could become the director of the film that is returning at least $1.3 million to victims of Harris-Moore’s crime spree, mostly here in Washington state.
Under state law, Harris-Moore, now serving seven years in state prison, cannot profit from any reenactment of his crimes “by way of a movie, book, magazine article, tape recording, phonograph record, radio or television presentation, live entertainment of any kind.”
But if Harris-Moore wants to trace outlines of his bare feet, sign and date them and put them up for sale on the Internet, the state law can’t stop him, just like it can’t recover any money for the families of the murder victims of Isaac Zamora, whose signed and dated tracings of his hands are now for sale on some web sites.
Zamora’s mother said her son told her he is not getting money from the tracings. But the point is that he could, that there would be no legal way to stop this insane murderer of six from signing a contract with “murderabilia” purveyors to make money from his crimes.
That’s not right. It is because of a murderer’s notoriety from his or her crimes that makes any of their personal items or memorabilia have any distasteful value at all. That’s profiting from crime and should no more be allowed than telling a story of wrongdoing for profit should be.
It’s time to amend the law.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
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