Jeff Sessions’ plan for asset forfeiture reform doesn’t go nearly far enough

Rare | 10/19/2017 | Bonnie Kristian
Firefang (Posted by) Level 4
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On Tuesday evening, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo announcing his plan for a new position at the Justice Department, a “Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability,” whose duties he described as follows:

The Director will be expected to work with appropriate Department components on ensuring compliance with my previously issued order as well as to receive, promptly review and take appropriate action relating to any complaints concerning the Department’s conduct of asset forfeiture that may arise from judges, attorneys, defendants or other sources. The Director will also gather such data and make such recommendations as will enhance the integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of the program.

Program - Question - Categories - Asset - Forfeiture

The program in question includes two categories: criminal asset forfeiture and civil asset forfeiture. Criminal forfeiture is when the government confiscates money or stuff it believes you acquired through criminal activity for which you have been convicted. Sometimes this is reasonable — for instance, you shouldn’t get to keep something you stole — bu it has been abused or applied in really unreasonable ways.

While criminal asset forfeiture can be wrong, civil asset forfeiture is always wrong. This is when the government confiscates your money or property without convicting you of any crime. Civil asset forfeiture is policing for profit, plain and simple, and it hurts innocent people who are often left without plausible legal recourse. Even cops and Christian charities have...
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