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SCOTUS Rules On Civil Forfeiture And Excessive Fines

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SCOTUS Rules On Civil Forfeiture And Excessive Fines

Old 02-20-2019, 12:18 PM
  #1  
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Default SCOTUS Rules On Civil Forfeiture And Excessive Fines

The SCOTUS by unanimous decision has reined in state and local governments seizure of property and assessment of excessive fines.

"The court ruled in favor of Tyson Timbs of Marion, Ind., who had his $42,000 Land Rover seized after he was arrested for selling a couple hundred dollars’ worth of heroin.

He drew wide support from civil liberties organizations who want to limit civil forfeitures, which they say empower localities and law enforcement to seize property of someone suspected of a crime as a revenue stream."

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Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a recent opinion that civil forfeitures have “become widespread and highly profitable.”

“This system — where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use — has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses,” Thomas wrote, referring to reporting by The Washington Post and the New Yorker."


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/su...-property/ar-BBTR3Jd?li=BBnb7Kz&OCID=AVRES000
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:44 PM
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Given most convictions don't happen by trial by jury, but through prosecutorial plea bargains in which the defendant faces the choice of going to court with a public defender or getting a lessened penalty, there's not much argument against the fact civil asset forfeiture abuse could grossly undermine 1) justice of punishment and 2) rehabilitation prospects (which seems to have been what was at stake in this individual's case, since there wasn't much doubt he was guilty).
It's not right to suck the financial life out of people who will be re-released into society as a way to avoid the choice between either 1) cutting wasteful spending where budgets have bloat or 2) yes, raising taxes if you insist on keeping most of your budget.
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:38 PM
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AS much as I despise drug dealers and consider them the scum of the earth, I have a real philosophical problem with government entities seizing and using for their own purposes the property and money of people they arrest for dealing drugs. I think the line between law enforcement and thievery becomes very blurred when the police make money by arresting people and taking their property and they do not even have to prove it was the fruit of the poisonous tree, that is simply assumed and the property is gone.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:56 PM
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I pretty much agree with all of this. Well said gentlemen.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:04 AM
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I'm actually more concerned with the forfeiture of assets when no arrest are made. Such as, try going through the airport with say 6k of 100s and 20s. They can and have seized that money. Try running a small cash only business in which you deposit regularly under 10k into your bank account. They can and will go after your entire bank account. So while this is a good ruling, how does it impact the above scenarios?

Last edited by Fieldmouse; 02-21-2019 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:34 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
AS much as I despise drug dealers and consider them the scum of the earth, I have a real philosophical problem with government entities seizing and using for their own purposes the property and money of people they arrest for dealing drugs. I think the line between law enforcement and thievery becomes very blurred when the police make money by arresting people and taking their property and they do not even have to prove it was the fruit of the poisonous tree, that is simply assumed and the property is gone.
Likewise. I have a hard time seeing heroin dealers as victims. But there have been quite a few instances where the intent of forfeiture has been blurred if not completely lost. Everything has to have limits and if the SCOTUS is 100% behind them then enough said.
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:38 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Fieldmouse View Post
I'm actually more concerned with the forfeiture of assets when no arrest are made. Such as, try going through the airport with say 6k of 100s and 20s. They can and have seized that money. Try running a small cash only business in which you deposit regularly under 10k into your bank account. They can and will go after your entire bank account. So while this is a good ruling, how does it impact the above scenarios?
Sounds like more work is needed.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
AS much as I despise drug dealers and consider them the scum of the earth, I have a real philosophical problem with government entities seizing and using for their own purposes the property and money of people they arrest for dealing drugs. I think the line between law enforcement and thievery becomes very blurred when the police make money by arresting people and taking their property and they do not even have to prove it was the fruit of the poisonous tree, that is simply assumed and the property is gone.
That somes it up for me too. I agree with the intent but in practice its been badly abused. I know a guy who got caught with a single joint and cops took his almost new car. He got it back but they seized something they had no right to seize. Then they tried to use it as leverage against him.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:14 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Fieldmouse View Post
I'm actually more concerned with the forfeiture of assets when no arrest are made. Such as, try going through the airport with say 6k of 100s and 20s. They can and have seized that money. Try running a small cash only business in which you deposit regularly under 10k into your bank account. They can and will go after your entire bank account. So while this is a good ruling, how does it impact the above scenarios?
I'd say they are looking at this individual as part of an investigation. If it's actually you then it's your own fault for ending up on their radar. Cash can always be seized as evidence in an on going criminal investigation.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:27 AM
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Two OK sheriffs were found guilty of shaking down motorists:

https://www.thenewspaper.com/news/29/2910.asp

http://www.kswo.com/story/36321163/e...rred-sentence/
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