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Ex-Convict Author Challenges Son of Sam Law

INDIANAPOLIS (CN) - The author of a memoir about his arrest and conviction as a teenager has challenged Indiana's "Son of Sam Law," which bars felons from profiting from their crimes, in Federal Court.

Nathan Henry's book, "Good Behavior: A Memoir," is set to be published by Bloomsbury Publishing in summer 2010, Henry claims.

At the age of 17, Henry pleaded guilty as an adult to felony burglary in 1992 and served one year in Wayne County Jail.

He says he "views his arrest and subsequent conviction as transformative experiences in his life, and believes that they have dramatically impacted the course of his life since the early 1990s."

Now a professional writer living in Ohio, Henry wants to keep the money he makes from the book.

However, state law mandates that 90 percent of the book's earnings go to the Victim Services Division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

But Henry "does not desire" that his profits be given to victim services, the lawsuit claims.

He sued the institute's board of trustees, requesting declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the constitutionality of state statute. He says the statute violates the First Amendment.

His attorney is Gavin Rose with the ACLU of Indianapolis.

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