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Paradox25's avatar

How do you feel about asset forfeiture laws?

Asked by Paradox25 (10174points) February 20th, 2014

Do you feel it’s justifiable for law enforcement on either the local, state or federal level to seize the property of a person, even if they were convicted of a crime? This question also pertains to both civil and criminal asset forfeitures.

I was motivated to ask this question because I’ve been reading about law enforcement seizing the assets of people not even charged with crimes. However, one could easily conclude that taking the property that others paid for with their hard earned money simply for committing minor criminal offenses is ultimately what planted the seeds for the former example of abuse by law enforcement to begin with, at least in my opinion.

I was also intrigued by this topic since voters in some states that supported reforms have had their wishes die off anyways it seems. It appears that law enforcement in states like Utah have found loopholes to get around the asset forfeiture reforms that voters originally supported. What is your opinion of asset forfeiture laws, and how they should be enforced?

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4 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think it’s urgent that the ACLU grab one of these cases, and begins marching toward the Supreme Court, because the mass preponderance of those who have their possessions confiscated lack the means to contest such seizures through the courts. Depriving people of their property BEFORE they are convicted or even tried must not be allowed. Otherwise, only those of us who own nothing are immune.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It’s theft basically, in my view.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I don’t understand some parts of your question. Why are they confiscating property? Are you talking about confiscating a house owned by a slumlord who rents it by the month for a drug operation?
Or are they seizing property because it is evidence in the upcoming case and it might be tainted.or destroyed if not confiscated?
Or are there other reasons? I don’t get it.

Paradox25's avatar

This was the recent turn of events concerning Utah that I was mentioning above, and part of the motivation for this question. It appears similar events have occured in Florida as well.

@LuckyGuy I deliberately left the question vague because it’s a topic that covers a wide range of offenses. The question could pertain to a slumlord using his building to run a drug operation. It could also pertain to the police seizing a house for a single pot plant, or seizing a car for finding a roach in the ashtray. The entire point of this question was to determine how people feel about forfeiture laws in general, and how they should be enforced.

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