Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills), introduced legislation yesterday to allow the victims of certain felonies to seek compensation under California’s Son of Sam law. If Assembly Bill 1938 is passed, victims of crimes such as murder, rape and kidnapping would be eligible even without a “conviction” in a technical sense.
The Son of Sam law allows for victims of specified crimes to be compensated up to 10 years after the conviction of the perpetrator. The statute requires a formal conviction in order for the victim to be eligible. If the perpetrator was found “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the law does not apply because it is not a “conviction.”
Also, when juveniles are tried in juvenile court, they are not “found guilty” but rather the accusations are found to be “true.” Currently, victims where there have been sustained juvenile delinquency petitions also ineligible for compensation.
“AB 1938 closes a loophole in current law which will allow all victims of these horrendous crimes to seek civil remedies from those that committed offenses against them,” stated Assemblyman Hagman in a press release issued yesterday. “This bill ensures that felons will not be able to wait out the short one-year statute of limitations in order to avoid liability for the crime they committed.”
AB 1938 closes the loopholes by applying the Son of Sam law to a sustained juvenile delinquency petition and a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. “By including these offenders, this legislation ensures that all victims of these awful crimes are treated equally when seeking compensation,” Hagman concluded.