By R Carter
The use of civil asset forfeiture has become a legal means for some law enforcement agencies to literally rob you blind. Most States and Federal law enforcement agencies don’t require a conviction or even an arrest to seize the private assets of citizens. And in many cases, when trying to go to court to regain such assets, there is no judge ruling over the proceedings. The defendant is often left to face a prosecutor from the State Attorney General’s office who has unilateral authority in deciding the outcome.
The practice has become so wide spread and corrupt that its frequently used not in charging a person with an offense, but in charging your property with an offense. All of this insanity is for the ability to seize personal property against your will, for the benefit of the law enforcement agency using such tactics. It’s as if the cash in your wallet were a type of conscious entity, capable of breaking the law, at least that is how it is used in practice, and worse yet, it’s legal in most areas of the US.
This video by John Oliver of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, brings to light these practices and their absurdity, yet many State and Federal agencies continue to use them and our legislators have been reluctant to make reasonable changes to protect its citizens from legal highway robbery. This link provides a current list of which states have enacted reforms.