Criminal Justice: Cash for Good Samaritans

In San Diego one night last fall, Stock Clerk Clifford G. Miller Jr. captured a neighborhood prowler, suffered a fractured hand in the scuffle, and lost $612.15 in pay and medical expenses. The cost of Miller's unusual willingness to become actively involved in the process of law enforcement was partly offset by medical and disability insurance, but he was still left $269.60 in the hole.

Last week Miller became the first American ever to be compensated by a Good Samaritan statute—a pioneering law enacted by California last summer to indemnify citizens who suffer injuries or damages while trying to prevent...

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