The Defenseless Dead is a novella in the Known Space universe by Larry Niven. It is the second of five Gil Hamilton detective stories. It was published in 1973 in the Roger Elwood? anthology Ten Tomorrows. Republished in The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976) and Playgrounds of the Mind (1990).
In the story, Organlegging is rampant on Earth in the early 22nd century. In an attempt to alleviate the problem, the UN has just passed the first "Freezer Law", declaring paupers in cryogenic suspension to be dead in law, allowing their organs to be harvested and made available for transplant.
A few years later, Hamilton is finishing lunch with an acquaintance, when he is shot at in a seemingly random act by a local lunatic. Closer investigation reveals the attacker to be a former organlegger who retired after the first Freezer Bill went into law.
Other Gil Hamilton Stories (novels and collections):
The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976 collection) (Death by Ecstasy (Organleggers)1969, The Defenseless Dead, ARM 1976)
The Patchwork Girl (novel, 1980)
Flatlander (1995, coll.) (Death by Ecstasy (Organleggers) 1969, The Defenseless Dead, ARM 1976, Patchwork Girl 1978, The Woman in Del Rey Crater)
A.R.M. (1990, Adventure/Malibu Graphics), 3-issue mini-series, B&W. Based on the short story, "Death By Ecstasy" by Larry Niven
Written by Bill Spangler?. Art by Terry Tidwell? and Steve Stiles?
"Death By Ecstasy" (September 1990, #1)
"The Organ Leggers" (October 1990, #2)
"Heart Attack" (November 1990, #3)
A.R.M.: The Defenseless Dead, (1991, Adventure/Malibu Graphics), 3-issue mini-series, B&W