Rick Perry is selling indictment swag:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) seems to be enjoying the spotlight that has come with pushing back to his recent indictment.
The latest move: His new political action committee unveiled a T-shirt featuring Perry's mug shot. The back of the shirt features the mug shot of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose character Perry has repeatedly tried to attack while making her the poster child of his pushback.
I guess this doesn't quite fall under the rubric of profiting from a crime, does it - at least not yet? Innocent until proven guilty and all that. Still, "law and order" types in this country tend to be appalled at the notion that you can make money from felonious activity -- many states and the federal government have "Son of Sam" laws that legally prevent felons from making money off their misdeeds. Texas passed a law of that kind in 1979, though it was repealed in 1993.
On the other hand, a 2013 Austin American-Statesman article tells me that since the repeal of that law, prosecutors in Texas have "prevented felons from profiteering by attaching stipulations to their sentence regarding restitution." Will that happen to the profits from these shirts if Perry is convicted?
That article appears on the Senate site of Perry's fellow Texas Republican John Cornyn. I learn from the article that Cornyn wants to expand the federal Son of Sam law:
Spurred in part by new controversy over the online offering of a letter written by convicted Fort Hood mass shooter Nidal Hassan, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn on Friday proposed legislation to block high-profile criminals from selling "murderabilia" for their profit.Senator, your thoughts? Should Governor Perry have to refund any money he raises this way if he's convicted? Should Texas pass a new Son of Sam law? At what point do felonies become "heinous crimes"?
Cornyn, who tried unsuccessfully in 2010 to ban the sale of such items as artwork, letters and other memorabilia by serial killers, mass murderers and others convicted of heinous crimes, said the legislation would be the first federal law to prevent criminals from bolstering their notoriety through "murderabilia" sales....