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E-DUB
06-20-2016, 09:09 AM
So I'm watching this "Aquarius" show and I remember that Charles Manson is still very much alive. Does he, even despite his incarcerated status, have the right to sue the makers for, say, defamation of character, or a cut of the profits.

I mean, public figure and all that, can people pretty much make up stuff about you just because you're serving multiple life sentences?

Does CA have "son of Sam" laws? Could they apply retroactively to crimes committed before they were enacted?

Any other legal issues raised by a show like this?

RivkahChaya
06-20-2016, 09:36 AM
I don't think "Son of Sam" laws have to be retroactive to apply to anyone who was incarcerated already at the time the laws were passed. In other words, if you had already written a book and made profits, the law would have to be retroactive for the government to demand that you forfeit money you had already made. However, the laws could stop future earnings on past crimes. You couldn't write a book 10 years after the law passed, and claim it didn't apply to you, because you committed your crime before the law was passed.

In a defamation suit, you have to prove that the defamation, whatever it was, damaged your reputation. Woody Allen lost some defamation suit when someone said something that was factually untrue about him, but the judge ruled it didn't damage his reputation, because his reputation in the area the comment regarded, was already shot to hell-- it had something to do with his dating very young women, IIRC. It was also relevant that Allen was a public figure. If he hadn't been, according to some to some of the talking heads on the news, he might have won on an "invasion of privacy" claim.

So I'm going with "Manson has no reputation to damage," and "is a public figure with no privacy to invade." Given his particular character, and the things he cares about, unless the show suggests that he was a crappy musician who never had a shot at being a professional, he's not going to care one way or another what is said, and in regard to his being a crappy musician, truth will probably be a defense.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
06-20-2016, 11:37 AM
In a defamation suit, you have to prove that the defamation, whatever it was, damaged your reputation. Woody Allen lost some defamation suit when someone said something that was factually untrue about him, but the judge ruled it didn't damage his reputation, because his reputation in the area the comment regarded, was already shot to hell-- it had something to do with his dating very young women, IIRC.

Assuming you mean the American Apparel case, that was the defendants' argument, not a judge's ruling. Allen did not lose the case; he got a $5 million settlement (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/nyregion/19allen.html?_r=0).

ftg
06-20-2016, 01:10 PM
Here's (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_Sam_law) the Wikipedia article on Son of Sam Laws.

They don't seem to be doing all that great constitutionally. Note the bit about the Feds adding a clause to plea deals with infamous criminals.

The ex post facto aspect to already convicted people is, IMHO, very shaky. Someone agrees to a plea deal of say 1 year and a $10k fine. But is hoping to sell a "confessions" book later. Before he can publish it, the state passes a SoS law. The perp could argue "If I had known there was going to be such a law, I would have agreed to a different deal."

Could a state realistically make a claim against someone who did time 40 years ago and is just now getting around to writing about it? What about people who are reformed and just want to write a positive book about finding Jesus and such? Do we also want to stop them?

Anyway, back to Charlie.

It's a tough slog for him. He'd have to find a lawyer. Find a way to pay him. Esp. since the lawyer might not want to take a % since the chances of getting anything are low. And the person you sue might ask for a jury trial. How many jurors are there who might think its okay to give Charlie big bucks? Even if its decided by a judge, he's not getting much sympathy for being misrepresented.

Gatopescado
06-20-2016, 01:34 PM
What could you possibly say about old Chuck that would make him seem worse?

pinkfreud
06-20-2016, 02:09 PM
What could you possibly say about old Chuck that would make him seem worse?The TV series "Aquarius" shows Manson present at the scene of the Sharon Tate murders. I don't know whether that is actually worse than the facts, but it isn't true, and might possibly be grounds for a lawsuit.

Ukulele Ike
06-20-2016, 05:42 PM
What could you possibly say about old Chuck that would make him seem worse?
Show him putting ketchup on his hot dog?

panache45
06-20-2016, 05:49 PM
What could you possibly say about old Chuck that would make him seem worse?

That he's a Trump supporter.

Gatopescado
06-21-2016, 08:30 PM
Show him putting ketchup on his hot dog?

Oh, you totally know he does that!

E-DUB
06-21-2016, 11:40 PM
While Manson has not endorsed Trump, he has said that he likes the fact that Trump says what he thinks.

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