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Ending Forfeiture Abuse: How States Can Be Tough on Crime and Respect Property Rights

Published on Jan 30, 2013 by InstituteForJustice

Civil asset forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to private property rights in our nation today. Law enforcement can take your property without even charging you with a crime.

According to reports from the Institute for Justice, law enforcement agencies frequently fail to disclose what they seize or how they use the proceeds. Failure to report only makes this already bad problem worse.

State legislatures must enact comprehensive forfeiture reform to protect private property by (1) requiring that individuals be convicted of a crime before title to their property is transferred to the state, (2) ensuring that forfeiture proceeds do not become a slush fund for law enforcement, and (3) protecting innocent owners by shifting the burden to prosecutors to prove that a third-party did not consent or have actual knowledge about a crime before he loses his property.

Police and prosecutors should be chasing criminals, not profits, but allowing the law enforcement to keep the proceeds of forfeited property gives them a direct financial incentive to abuse their power. Fair and impartial law enforcement cannot exist as long as policing for profit is allowed.

Going to court to get your property back is no simple task. The state forces you to enter an upside down legal world where you must prove your property is innocent instead of requiring the government to prove you are guilty of a crime.

The legal process is so rigged that even an innocent owner needs a lawyer and must wait months for a hearing to get back seized property. The laws need to be changed to protect property owners who are wrongly dragged into the forfeiture process through no fault of their own.

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3 Responses to Ending Forfeiture Abuse: How States Can Be Tough on Crime and Respect Property Rights

  1. John W. says:

    That’s part of the plan in the NWO.

  2. Alberet says:

    THIEVES in uniforms, that is all they are.
    THEY are the ones that HATE FREEDOM.
    They have NO INTEREST in America or RIGHTS.
    Your Doctor is now an “AGENT of the STATE”. ANYTHING you tell your Doctor CAN and WILL be used against you.
    You are being ENSLAVED. When the government can DICTATE how much soda-pop you are PERMITTED to drink at one time, that IS SLAVERY. What aspect of your life is NOT under their “COMMAND”?! Any government that will torture will enslave.

  3. Joe says:

    “shifting the burden to prosecutors to prove that a third party did not consent or have actual knowledge about a crime before he loses his property.”

    This is really upside-down. The prosecutor has the burden to prove the third party is innocent “did not consent” (fat chance a prosecutor will or has ever done this) before taking his property anyway? Why go to the trouble and cost of proving innocence before punishing someone? Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to steal the third-party property without any trial?

    Sounds like a Lewis Carroll story. “Curiouser and curiouser” said Alice.

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