There is an abundance of information about this on the internet if you’re interested. My interest was if the State of Tennessee had this law. Sounds like something easy to determine, right? Not so. I learned that the law had been recommended but could not find if it had ever been passed. A friend of mine, an assistant DA, did some research and was unable to determine with any certainty if the law was on the books. His inquiries, however, did manage to pique a lot of interest. “If it isn’t, it should be,” was the general sentiment. But the law has constitutional problems. For instance, can you deprive a man from making money by speaking about his crime? The Supreme Court said you couldn’t.
Perhaps the most famous case was the one involving the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr. in 1963 and demanding a ransom of $240,000. The kidnapper, Barry Keenan, was captured and sent to prison. In 1988, he sold the movie rights to Colombia for $1.5 million. He was sued under the Son of Sam law but the California Supreme Court struck down the ruling.
It is problematic if the law can withstand a vigorous challenge. Some states have tried the approach of narrowing the scope of the law but even this doesn’t seem to work. Still, the victims of a crime have the right to sue for any money the felon receives. The courts still look to the maxims of equity, so there’s that.
My final conclusion was not to worry about the law in regard to Jerry.