AG King: Felons can't use fame for profit

By John O'Brien | May 3, 2007


MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama Attorney General Troy King on Thursday was celebrating the success of a bill that prevents felons from using their notoriety for profit.

The state's House of Representatives unanimously passed the Notoriety Act, leaving it up to the Senate to grant its final passage.

King developed legislation in response to Jack Harrison Trawick, the self-admitted murderer of Stephanie Gach who was sentenced to death.

In 2003, he wrote essays providing graphic descriptions of his crimes and advice on how others could commit similar acts. In 2006, pieces of his artwork were placed on a website that auctions items of serial killers.

"It is outrageous that the 'art' of death row inmates -- drawings, letters and essays -- has been offered for sale on internet auction sites," King said. "These products are not art -- they are an obscene and indecent exploitation of the horror and pain from the crimes these men committed.

"With this new law, we can retrieve any profits from the sale of such products, and provide the funds to victims' families for restitution. If there is no profit, there will be no market for such sick and perverted 'art,' and we expect that the sales effectively will be stopped. As a civilized society, we must not allow criminals to profit from the notoriety they acquired through their evil deeds."

King and Rep. Cam Ward urged the Senate to pass the bill, known as HB 424. Ward and Sen. Zeb Little sponsored the bill.

"As Attorney General, I am committed to finding ways to make sure that these monsters can no longer reach though the bars of our prisons to revictimize Alabama families," King said.

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