by Ewan Watt & Jordan Richardson March 10, 2017
Civil asset forfeiture is arbitrary and unfair, and it gives law enforcement the wrong incentives.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is well known for staying silent during oral arguments, but his written statement in response to Monday’s denial of certiorari in Leonard v. Texas posed a question that was heard loud and clear throughout the legal community. That question asked “whether modern civil-forfeiture statutes can be squared with the Due Process Clause and our Nation’s history.” In other words, why are police still allowed to seize property from people without ever charging them with a crime?.........Because this is a civil procedure, the government doesn’t have to establish guilt before seizing the property in question. If the owner wants to reclaim it, he or she must prove to the government that it has no connection to criminal activity. This turns the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” on its head........ Read more