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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Killing Civil-Asset Forfeiture

For John, BLUFThis should be a bi-partisan issue.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

We all remember past discussions of the Caswell Motel, such as this item talking about Civil-Asset Forfeiture Laws, and this one talking about how after Federal Attorney Carmen Ortiz harassed the Caswell Motel the owner sold the business, with the motel to become a bowling alley.

Civil-Asset Forfeiture is an example of a good idea, an apparently good law, grown out of control.  Another example is the RICO Statute, designed to go after Mafia type organizations.

In Sunday's edition of The [Lowell] Sun is an opinion piece by Attorneys John Yoder and Brad Cates, headlined "Kill the monster that was our baby", about Civil-Asset Forfeiture.  It is worth reading.

Aside from the fact that all Laws should have a Sunset Clause, we need to ask for great care in drafting laws.  And we should step back when we seem to be targeting a class of criminals, to ensure we are not going to also sweep up law-abiding citizens.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

Cindy Krieger said...

I once read an economics textbook that mentioned when a government tries to create benefits for its citizens or establish laws to rule its population, there needs to be at least one person who will sit back asking "Who is the as yet unknown or hidden common man that will get hurt by this benefit to others or this by law being created?" Asking this question seems like government common sense to me. Reading the article I can hear the Civil-Asset Forfeiture law's authors' anguish that this law is used more often to abuse than to assist its community. I agree with the Killing Civil-Asset Forfeiture movement: this is a law whose time and has come and gone.