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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Reforming Asset Forfeiture

For John, BLUFThis is a step in the right direction.  New Mexico leads the way.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Mr Rob Eno's Facebook page I got this link to The Daily Caller and an article about "New Mexico Gov Abolishes Civil Asset Forfeiture".  That is, Governor Susana Martinez signed the legislation.

Well, it doesn't actually "Abolish" Asset Forfeiture, but it does reform it.  Here is the lede:

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill to abolish civil asset forfeiture Friday.

She signed just before the noon deadline that would have pocket vetoed the legislation.

“As an attorney and career prosecutor, I understand how important it is that we ensure safeguards are in place to protect our constitutional rights,” Martinez said in a letter announcing her decision.  “On balance, the changes made by this legislation improve the transparency and accountability of the forfeiture process and provide further protections to innocent property owners.”

Asset Forfeiture was a wonderful tool for going after the Mob, but as with most things, the question is, can we keep it that narrow lane or will those who have only a hammer view every problem as a nail.  As I recall, someone wanted to use Asset Forfeiture to go after those protesting abortions.  And, as it is now, if you are driving to Florida for a vacation and have $3,000 in cash and an expensive camera in the car and you get stopped by police that could all be seized as possible illegal results of drug trafficking.  It has happened to others.  You have to hire a lawyer and sue to get your assets back.

Regards  —  Cliff

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