Weird History

Every US Law Named After A Victim And What It Does

Laws named after victims remain a source of debate. While plenty of brutal crimes occur within any given year, only a very small percentage lead to changes to our legal system. When it comes to US laws created because of crimes, public outrage is key. Particularly horrifying kidnappings, murders, and suicides receive an unusual amount of press coverage, often resulting in the widespread backlash needed to pressure politicians into reforming the legal system. 

The crimes that resulted in new laws were already illegal when they were committed. The resulting legislation is usually seen as closing a loophole or addressing a unique aspect of the crime. However, there is much public debate on whether such laws are ethical or effective. People who have laws named after them are honored and memorialized, on the one hand, but critics argue such laws are often too reactionary to be truly effective. 

If you're unsure where you stand on the issue, browse this list. It will help you develop a more detailed understanding of how and why some crimes lead to new laws.