Supreme Court: Approving the Wages of Sin

Approving the Wages of Sin

In 1981 Simon & Schuster agreed to pay career criminal Henry Hill $100,000 for telling author Nicholas Pileggi about life inside the Mafia. The resulting book, Wiseguy, became a best seller and the basis for the hit movie GoodFellas. But New York State's highest court ruled that the payment to Hill violated the 1977 "Son of Sam" law, so named for the pseudonym of serial killer David Berkowitz. Designed to keep crooks from cashing in on their crimes, the measure required that any earnings from selling their stories be used to compensate their victims. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court struck...

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