Civil Asset Forfeiture has to be the single most boring title I have yet used in this blog. But it is a subject that is fraught with passion for many people.
This, to me, is one of those initiatives beloved of policy makers that must have sounded good in whatever committee room they were in.
“Those drug dealers! They use their ill gotten gains to pay for fancy schmantzy shysters to get off!”
“You’re right but what can we do?”
“We can freeze their assets when they are arrested so they cannot use it to wriggle away. If they are found innocent with their public defender then they can get their money back”
And just that easily we have turned prosecutors, AGs, police chiefs and Sheriffs into unlicensed, unsupervised and relentless tax collectors. They collect their taxes by seizing money and assets from public people – some accused of a committing a crime, some not. Like the Mob, the takings are shared upwards and downwards, and an innocent person can find themselves fighting an entire system to get their property returned to them.
And I have been disturbed to find that Jeff Sessions – whom I had considered to be a Conservative is very much in favor of this grotesque practice of taking money from the public BEFORE any conviction.
I am not any kind of a lawyer – I do not understand how this procedure can pass any kind of muster as “Constitutional” I just do not. But it would appear that now there is far too much budget wrapped up in this subject for anyone in the “Judicial-Criminal Complex” to want to upset the applecart. If the Attorney general of the US is all for it – I doubt he is going to get much pushback from all the people who report up to him.
But no matter what weasel wording is used – it is not Conservative. It is not something I wish to be associated with and I will agitate and push to get rid of it wherever I can. It is not “rule of law” it is “misrule of law”. I have no problem, at all, with a convicted felon having his ill gotten gains seized by the state AFTER he or she is convicted.