Saturday, April 1, 2017

Civil Asset Forfeiture Is Theft Most Of The Time

Source: Institute for Justice

A recent report released by the DOJ's Office of Inspector General has revealed that, in the vast majority of cases, civil asset forfeiture is used to steal property from innocent people. The DEA is responsible for the vast majority (80%) of cash seizures in the past decade. Since 2007, the DEA has seized a total of $4.15B in cash through civil asset forfeiture. 81% of that cash, or about $3.2B, was taken without charging anyone with a crime or any judicial oversight. The DEA could not verify whether they had advanced a criminal investigation in more than half of these interdiction seizures, conducted without a warrant, that the DOJ sampled. It does not matter if a single man takes your money at gun point without pretense or if a group of men who call themselves law enforcement take your money at gun point under the pretense of preventing crime; it is theft in both cases. Popular sanction and more guns does not make immoral actions moral.

When the police are allowed to become the judge, jury, and prosecutor, the separation of powers written into the constitution is negated, and despotism, by definition, replaces the rule of law. The fourth amendment reinforces the separation of powers by requiring law enforcement to get a warrant from a magistrate before seizing property. The separation of judicial and executive powers is further reinforced in the fifth and fourteenth amendment by guaranteeing every citizen their day in court before law enforcement can take their life, liberty, or property. When the police are given both executive and judicial power, the U.S. slides further towards despotism and further away from the rule of law.

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