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Civil Asset Forfeiture - Now that it's increasing: Arguments for it as a Net Positive?

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posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 08:33 AM
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www.washingtonpost.com...

www.newyorker.com...

www.theregister.co.uk...

Civil Asset Forfeiture is the policy by which law enforcement agencies are allowed to seize property and money on suspicion of its connection with criminal wrongdoing. It does not require a conviction or even evidence on the part of the seizing entities (as it is considered a civil matter), and the defendants in the case must prove in a civil court that they were not a part of whatever criminal activity the seizing entities wish to target. As is almost always the case, the cost to return this property is severe to the defendant, and in many cases the seized assets are 'liquidated' and unable to be reimbursed before the defendants can prove they are not guilty of any criminal connection.

I'm bringing this up again to highlight two points. First, in 2014 there is record of civil asset forfeiture amounts eclipsing the total loss values of criminal burglary actions (which does not include all categories of asset loss like larceny and theft); see the first linked article. Of course, this is during Obama's administration, and although there was some small efforts to reign in this type of asset seizures the practice remained in effect in some fashion. Now, under the Trump administration, AG Sessions (a big proponent of civil asset forfeiture - see second linked article) is advocating for in fact increasing the civil asset forfeiture acts accomplished by law enforcement agencies. “With care—we’ve gotta be careful—and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures,” Sessions told a crowd of law-enforcement officials in Minneapolis in July (NewYorker).

Just about the only way I can seem to rationalize these actions as a benefit is in regard to funding of departments that may otherwise be critical underfunded, along with to a lesser extent a loophole that empowers law enforcement to go after criminals without being delayed by the legal system. Unfortunately, its unclear in many cases how to quantify the data in such a way that we can accurately assess the benefit vs. the harm to people who have assets unfairly seized.

Again, I am asking ATS what is the opinion of those in support of civil asset forfeiture? I'm having a difficult time putting myself in the perspective of viewing this positively, as it seems anathema to our due rights as American Citizens. There is so much shadyness involved with it that its hard even to trust law enforcement agencies statements on what the money is used for and how much is being given back. Even the NYPD recently claimed during a legal freedom of information court battle (see third linked article) that they were unable to divulge the amount they had seized because their computer database system used to track evidence was broken(which seems like a slippery slope/Pyrrhic argument since convictions rely on sound evidence records).

I assume there are supporters of AG Sessions approach, but can someone who believes in the AG share some insight as to how this can be viewed positively, or is there in fact no good way to look at this as a net positive for America?
edit on 42am17famThu, 19 Oct 2017 08:44:39 -0500America/ChicagoThu, 19 Oct 2017 08:44:39 -0500 by Wayfarer because: tense

edit on 42am17famThu, 19 Oct 2017 09:06:22 -0500America/ChicagoThu, 19 Oct 2017 09:06:22 -0500 by Wayfarer because: article reference




posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 08:36 AM
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Maybe we could have the assets of some certain foundations forfeited?

Haiti could use some money.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 08:57 AM
link   

originally posted by: Wayfarer
www.washingtonpost.com...

www.newyorker.com...

www.theregister.co.uk...

Civil Asset Forfeiture is the policy by which law enforcement agencies are allowed to seize property and money on suspicion of its connection with criminal wrongdoing. It does not require a conviction or even evidence on the part of the seizing entities (as it is considered a civil matter), and the defendants in the case must prove in a civil court that they were not a part of whatever criminal activity the seizing entities wish to target. As is almost always the case, the cost to return this property is severe to the defendant, and in many cases the seized assets are 'liquidated' and unable to be reimbursed before the defendants can prove they are not guilty of any criminal connection.


I don't support it. Law enforcement either needs to prove someone is doing something illegally or step the fk off. I don't get how this has not been challenged and shot down. It is literally guilty until proven innocent.

With that said, I do understand law enforcement's perspective, particularly as drug dealers get more sophisticated. At least where I am from, there were a lot of known dope dealers, but little evidence of their crimes as they've gotten better of laundering money and hiding it. Strip clubs, car washes, restaurants, car shops, etc are all covers...
edit on Thu Oct 19 2017 by DontTreadOnMe because: trimmed quote Quote Crash Course



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: butcherguy


nah, trump's foundation money goes to portraits of himself for his hotels and such. who would want that? plus, he needs money to give to other charities so he'll "look" charitable.

oh wait, his foundation is under investigation. lol


i'd be for it if they used this on civil asset forfeiture on trump. lol

edit on 19-10-2017 by knoxie because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:03 AM
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there are no compelling reasons for this even in the face of abject criminality.

if law enforcement cant catch the bad guys without asset forfeiture they need to invent a better mouse trap ....preferably one that doesnt catch alot of innocent people who cant afford to lose what is taken or fight to get it back.

not a fan of Sessions in general but he IS going after human trafficking like no one before.....



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

There hasn't been a "small effort" to reign in forfeiture ridiculousness. It's been a massive effort. In the last two years over half the states in the country have redone their forfeiture laws or removed them entirely.

The problem is that the federal law has, and continues to have, enormous loopholes in it that allow agencies to bypass their state laws entirely so long as the Fed gets their cut of it.

To be clear: I think forfeiture has it's uses. I think it's ripe for abuse. But the problem has been addressed at the state level time and time again. Give credit where it's due.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:09 AM
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early this year, Illinois passed a law requiring proof of crime before asset forfeiture, things are slowly changing for the better



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:15 AM
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a reply to: tribal
Sessions is a brainwashed Keebler elf. I don't like the way he looks, talks, acts, or his lame accent. Its nice he is going after human trafficers, but I think Trump needs to replace him before he starts arresting, incarcerating. and torturing legal medical users in legal states.
The public will only take legalized theft for so long before they go into those same police homes with pitch forks, tar, and feathers.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:16 AM
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Understandably I can see how it appears I devalued the previous couple of years of effort to reduce CAF, but it would seem that the intent of the current administration is to reverse that trend. I'm not a legal scholar, so I'm unsure how the interaction between a restrictive state law/mandate affects a loosening at the federal level.
edit on 42am17famThu, 19 Oct 2017 09:17:20 -0500America/ChicagoThu, 19 Oct 2017 09:17:20 -0500 by Wayfarer because: context



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:22 AM
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a reply to: butcherguy

How about just not allowing the state and federal government to seize property without first proving guilt?!?!

How about stopping using police officers as profit generators and transfer them back to protecting and serving.....


I bet if we ended the war on drugs and stopped allowing the funds police departments confiscate to be used by the PD . All the problems with police dry up over night...


They go right back to being the hero’s of the community , instead of tax collectors with guns.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:25 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

It matters not how many guilty people walk free, so long as no innocent is put in jail. It matters not how may people die, so long as those who live have access to the full breadth of their rights. It matters not how drug dealers get away with their crimes, so long as no innocent person is stolen from by the state.

Those who want MORE of this civil asset forfeiture, should take a good, long, hard look at themselves in the mirror, and repeat the phrases above until their throat bleeds, both as punishment AND in the name of re-education on the fundamentals of right and wrong, justice and injustice.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:31 AM
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originally posted by: JoshuaCox
a reply to: butcherguy

How about just not allowing the state and federal government to seize property without first proving guilt?!?!

How about stopping using police officers as profit generators and transfer them back to protecting and serving.....


I bet if we ended the war on drugs and stopped allowing the funds police departments confiscate to be used by the PD . All the problems with police dry up over night...


They go right back to being the hero’s of the community , instead of tax collectors with guns.

I agree with your post.

Guilt must be proven. My having money in my pocket is not just cause for the government to seize it.

I oppose all drug laws, with the exception of an age restriction. (And, with the exception of a rare drink of alcohol and nicotine via electronic cigarettes, I do not use drugs)



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:35 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

The Supremacy Clause is only invoked when a federal law and a state law clash. The federal guidelines or policy that contain the loopholes that have been exploited are not laws passed by the Congress. If the state has a law that says you can't do something but the Feds have a guideline that says you can, the law wins.

And, to be fair, the House passed an appropriations bill last month that contained amendments that were aimed at defunding the Federal forfeiture expansion program.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

"Net positive", for whom?

Seizure of private property without due process beforehand is a direct violation of the 4th ammendment.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:40 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

Civil Asset Forfeiture is a Constitutional violation as it violates the 4th Amendment. Anyone in favor of Civil Asset Forfeiture should be kicked out of the country for being unpatriotic.
edit on 19-10-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:46 AM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
a reply to: Wayfarer

There hasn't been a "small effort" to reign in forfeiture ridiculousness. It's been a massive effort. In the last two years over half the states in the country have redone their forfeiture laws or removed them entirely.

The problem is that the federal law has, and continues to have, enormous loopholes in it that allow agencies to bypass their state laws entirely so long as the Fed gets their cut of it.

To be clear: I think forfeiture has it's uses. I think it's ripe for abuse. But the problem has been addressed at the state level time and time again. Give credit where it's due.


Addressed but never resolved so why give credit to any of the crooked bastards?



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:47 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: Wayfarer

Civil Asset Forfeiture is a Constitutional violation as it violates the 4th Amendment. Anyone in favor of Civil Asset Forfeiture should be kicked out of the country for being unpatriotic.


Agreed..



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: notsure1

This is a topic that riles my blood whenever it is discussed. Well pretty much anything involving Jeff Sessions riles my blood... Man, he is a terrible AG...



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: notsure1


so why give credit to any of the crooked bastards?


Because I'm not a simple-minded jackass that can't see the forest for the trees. States have been trying to handle the issue for years and the Feds have been screwing them every time they try to. I'm not going to blame state legislatures when the Fed is actively working against them.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 09:58 AM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
a reply to: notsure1


so why give credit to any of the crooked bastards?


Because I'm not a simple-minded jackass that can't see the forest for the trees. States have been trying to handle the issue for years and the Feds have been screwing them every time they try to. I'm not going to blame state legislatures when the Fed is actively working against them.


Lol it appears you are just that. Been trying to handle it for years and still not handled.. simple minded people keep trying the same shi..



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