YES, CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE FREQUENTLY RESULTS IN PEOPLE’S RIGHTS BEING SEVERELY ABUSED, AND SHOULD BE SERIOUSLY CURTAILED IF NOT ABOLISHED
If you read the same sources I do, you’ll regularly see stories about civil asset forfeiture being used to deprive apparently completely innocent citizens of their money and property, without due process. Recently I saw a post about a particularly egregious-sounding case, that can be summarized like this: a police traffic stop results for one reason or another in a search of the car, the search turns up a large amount of cash, the police seize the cash, and the citizens have to prove that the cash isn’t somehow connected to illegal activity.
Actually, many of the cases I read about fit that pattern. The citizens victimized by these cases are, of course, at an extreme disadvantage in fighting the government to get their money or property back.
Are there situations where the police seize money or property that really is the product of illegal activity? Of course there are. Does that justify the way these cases play out being so blatantly in violation of basic notions of due process? Not in my book.
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