Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Crime Victims Board

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Simon & Schuster v. Crime Victims Board
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued October 15, 1991
Decided December 9, 1991
Full case nameSimon & Schuster, INC., petitioner v. Members of New York State Crime Victims Board et al.
Citations502 U.S. 105 (more)
112 S. Ct. 501; 116 L. Ed. 2d 476; 1991 U.S. LEXIS 7172
Case history
PriorOn certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
The New York Son of Sam law violated the First Amendment.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
Byron White · Harry Blackmun
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Case opinions
MajorityO'Connor, joined by Rehnquist, White, Stevens, Scalia, Souter
Thomas took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I, Son of Sam law

Simon & Schuster v. Crime Victims Board, 502 U.S. 105 (1991),[1] was a Supreme Court case dealing with Son of Sam laws, which are state laws that prevent convicted criminals from publishing books about their crime for profit. Simon & Schuster challenged the law's application to profits from Nicholas Pileggi's book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family, which was written with paid assistance from former mobster Henry Hill. The court struck down the Son of Sam law in New York on the ground that the law was violative of the First Amendment, which protects free speech. Nevertheless, similar laws in other states remain unchallenged. The opinion of the court was written by Sandra Day O'Connor.

In the wake of this case, New York modified its law to apply to any economic benefits derived from criminal activities, not just proceeds from publications.[2]


  1. ^ Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Crime Victims Board, 502 U.S. 105 (1991).
  2. ^ "Son-of-Sam Law". Gale Encyclopedia of US History. The Gale Group. 2006. Retrieved October 24, 2012.

External links[edit]