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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Reichert’s Campaign Ace In the Hole: The Green River Killer

posted by on April 1 at 14:07 PM

I’ve filed a lot of copy lately documenting nervous Republican Rep. Dave Reichert’s election-season shuffle to the left—voting for a gay rights law, voting to override President Bush’s veto of children’s healthcare legislation—but one of the most recent bills he’s sponsoring comes from the right side of the political divide. It also seems to be an election-season reminder about his role in capturing the Green River Killer. (BTW, Reichert’s nervous because Democratic challenger Darcy burner has $144,000 more cash on hand than he does.)

The bill would crack down on “murderabilia.” Specifically, trying to stop federal prisoners from profiting off their crimes, the law would regulate what federal prisoners can send in the mail (destination Ebay, I imagine.)

A law along the same lines (the Son of Sam Law)—which prohibited criminals from profiting from book deals about their crimes—was ruled unconstitutional in 1987. (I wonder how much Rep. Reichert has profited off his book and movie deals about the Green River Killer?)

Rep. Reichert’s effort seems well-intentioned but riddled with constitutional problems.

A recent Time article on the murderabilia craze and Congress’s attempt to deal with it featured this quote from the ACLU:

“The [new] bill does cause some concerns,” says Marv Johnson, legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C. “It’s a bit too broad and does raise some First Amendment issues by affecting protected activity.”

P.S. I closed the comments thread on my post yesterday about leaving the paper (it’s true, it’s true) because, feeling dramatic, I wanted a stand-alone announcement without some weird thread creating its own storyline. But, goddamn, thanks for all the wonderful e-mails that came in.

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I think I'd prefer that people not sensationalize and glamorize violent fuckheads in the first place.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 1, 2008 2:09 PM

The ridiculous thing is, Reichert's incompetence let the GRK go free for more than a decade, and his macho grandstanding hampered the investigation. He was a TERRIBLE cop and a terrible sheriff.

Posted by Fnarf | April 1, 2008 2:18 PM

Who is this Green River Killer, of whom you speak?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | April 1, 2008 2:41 PM

I wonder how much Rep. Reichert has profited off his book and movie deals about the Green River Killer?

He has said the money has gone to charity.

But he certainly profited politically.

As Goldy likes to point out, though: Reichert did NOT catch the Green River Killer. Detective Tom Jenson did.

Posted by Tlazolteotl | April 1, 2008 2:44 PM

Remember when his "pursuit" of the GRK bankrupted the County? Just because he refused to seek a non-death-penalty case - and ended up giving him a non-death-penalty sentence in the end?

Yeah, Reichert - way to show your true Red Bushie colors - bleeding red ink and blowing up the budget like all Red Bushies do.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 1, 2008 3:11 PM

Reichert's a complete hypocrite for taking money for his own book about the Green River Killer, or the film rights, regardless of the fact he is giving some of the money to charity. Does his "murderabilia" bill preclude Ridgway from doing the same?

Posted by Daniel K | April 1, 2008 4:38 PM

taking that long to catch a retard is NOT reason to be elected to congress.

Posted by maxsolomon@home | April 2, 2008 10:02 AM

Good police work is not reason to be elected to congress, either.

Posted by w7ngman | April 2, 2008 12:13 PM

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