Friday, September 20, 2013

Cornyn unveils law to ban "murderabilia"

Ward, Mike. (2013 September 20) Cornyn unveils law to ban “murderabilia”. Austin American Statesman.
1.  Category of problem: Consumer/Financial; Criminal 
2. Level of problem:  State
3. The article concerns: A new law bans the sale of “murderabilia” in the state of Texas. This law will make the sale of weapons, letters, and other paraphernalia from a crime scene illegal. Therefore, inmates and their families and friends will not be able to make profit from the crime that was committed.

4. Why is this important to families/individuals OR how does it affect individuals/families?
A       Families of the victims will no longer be able to benefit off of the crimes that their loved ones have committed. It is not fair for criminals to commit such terrible crimes, such as taking the life of another, and then to receive benefits off of it in the future. The article stated that there was a letter written by Nidal Hassan (the Fort Hood shooter) that was available to purchase online. It would be unfair for Nidal’s family, or the person responsible for selling the letter, receives benefits from the horrible attack that Nidal committed. Having said that , it is unfair and unethical for anybody to benefit from the sale of such objects.
5. What are your views on the issue/policy?

A       I think that this is a law that should have been enforced long before 2013. The article states that certain degrees of this law have been in effect, however none have made the sale of such products illegal. To think that such a terrible crime could be committed and that it could be financially beneficial in the future is unethical. We cannot reward the criminal or his/her family for the crimes that have led other families to loss of a loved one. The other issue here is that the victims’ families will be reminded of their loss with the sale of such paraphernalia. They have already suffered through enough emotionally, and probably legally. Cornyn states that “Every day, the family members of victims are forced to re-live their tragedies as prisoners attempt to make a profit off of the notoriety of their case by selling these items on gruesome web sites.” These families do not need another reminder of the brutal way that their loved one left them. As if they have not lost enough, they do not need to worry about (1) the profit that someone will make off of the loss of their loved one, or (2) the person that is interested in purchasing the object or something related to what caused the loss of their loved one. Personally, I do not understand why one would want to purchase the drainpipe that killed a thirteen year old girl, or the letters from the serial killer of his premeditated murders. They may be interesting to read about or even to look up on the internet, but to actually purchase them seems a little out of the ordinary. All and all, I feel that making the sale of “murderabilia” illegal is a good decision. 

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