The “civil asset forfeiture” laws are inherently corrupt. They empower law enforcement officers to take and keep your property, even if they haven’t charged you with a crime.
It gets worse.
It’s your property that’s actually charged with a crime, and your property is considered guilty until proven innocent. This makes it virtually impossible for you to regain your possessions once they’re seized.
But it gets even worse . . .
This scheme of legalized theft actually fosters additional corruption, as demonstrated in the sample letter below. Please use the new evidence we provide to send Congress another letter arguing that . . .
Civil asset forfeiture laws should be made illegal.
You can send your letter using our Educate the Powerful System, or you may borrow from or copy this sample letter . . .
Civil asset forfeiture corrupts our police. It turns cops into robbers.
Civil asset forfeiture is at the heart of government lawlessness.
- It disregards the Bill of Rights.
- It confiscates property from innocent people.
The federal government compounds the problem by cutting-in local law enforcement. They’ve turned the Drug War into a referral program! In a process known as “equitable sharing,” local law enforcement can work with the federal government in pursuit of criminals, and keep as much as 80% of the booty. http://www.ij.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3117&Itemid=165
And where does this money go?
- In Texas, a district attorney has been indicted for using $200,000 of forfeiture funds to line his own pockets and pay for trips to casinos http://www.examiner.com/headlines-in-san-antonio/former-texas-county-district-attorney-indicted-for-misusing-200-000-for-extra-pay-and-casino-trips
- In Indiana, where the law requires forfeiture loot to be spent on public education, only one county is complying with the law. In the other counties, law enforcement departments are keeping almost all the money, and the Attorney General doesn’t seem to care! http://reason.com/blog/2010/08/18/indianas-attorney-general-on-a
Are you surprised by this corruption? You shouldn’t be.
If confiscating property is an institutional mission, one must worry about the people such a group will employ to carry out that mission. If a government tells its employees that they must steal to meet their budgets – that is, engage in asset forfeiture – then some will rationalize that stealing is okay.
And they’ll steal from their employer, too.
The Institute for Justice has a tantalizing list of how some local posses have spent the loot. http://www.ij.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3117&Itemid=165
Because Congress encourages asset forfeiture, I must ask you: “What about the 5th and 14th Amendments? In other words, what about ‘due process of law?'”
Civil asset forfeiture is unconstitutional. Therefore, I DEMAND that you end all civil asset forfeiture programs.
When you abolish asset forfeiture, you will also reduce government corruption. Better yet, you will send a message to the people that the police really are there to serve and protect — not to steal.
If you know friends who would be as outraged at civil asset forfeiture as we are, please forward them this message and tell them on Facebook.
Thank you for helping grow the Downsize DC Army.