We’ve all done things in our life that were not proud of. When we write about these things we get a chance to explain our story, both what happened, and why it happened. I think the motivations behind a crime are more important than the crimes themselves. If we do not know why a person commits a crime, then how can we stop them before they commit another?
We look at people who have comitted crimes as “criminals”, and we forget that they are people too. Anyone will become a “criminal” if they are given enough reasons. For example, if someone close to you was raped, you might want to exact your own brand of “justice” on them. That is a crime, known as vigilantism. Arguably if you exacted your own brand of justice on this person, that would make you a “criminal”.
There are crimes of passion many of us would commit if we were in the right position. I’ve met many women who think it’s okay to hurt a man if he cheats on her, and I’ve met many men who think the same thing. I am not saying its right, I am saying that these are every day people like you and me.
In writing about their crimes, “criminals” learn about themselves and how they got into the situations that led them to becoming criminals. In reading about them we learn the real reasons why people commit crimes. Many of these so called “harden criminals” that fill up our jail system didn’t finish high school, a good portion of them don’t know how to read. Its my opinion that if you are a felon and you can write, it is your duty to write about your life and what led you to be in the situation that you were in.
If “criminals” cannot make money on writing about the crimes they have comitted, that is one less opportunity they have, and one less opportunity we have to learn about crime and its causes. Someone who currently makes money off of crime is not likely to write a book, that is the kind of action you would see from someone who is trying to go straight. The more opportunities we take away from “criminals”, the harder it is for them to go straight.
When considering this question you have to ask yourself one thing… Do you really believe that anyone commits a crime with the idea of getting rich by later publishing a book about it?