13 April 2019

The Best Argument for Forfeiture Reform is an Argument for Forfeiture

Case in point, retired police chief Robert Stevenson who argues that reforms to asset forfeiture will make it too hard for the police to steal your money:
One of the worst defenses of civil asset forfeiture has been penned by retired police chief Robert Stevenson for the Michigan news site, the Bridge. It's written in response to two things: pending forfeiture reform bills in the state legislature and the Supreme Court's Timbs decision, which indicated forfeiture may fall on the wrong side of the 8th and 14th Amendments.  


First, Stevenson argues that cops should be able to take money they feel deeply in their hearts is derived from drug dealing even if it can't find any evidence linking the person carrying it to a crime. 


That part comes in his second argument for forfeiture -- one that says even if cops have all the evidence they need to push for a conviction, they still should just be able to take the cash instead. 
I have always thought that the first step in reforming a larcenous asset allocation system is to ensure that the proceeds do not remit back to the courts and the cops who make the decision. (I would suggest scholarships to state schools)

There are probably other reforms after that, but once law enforcement stops making money from the process, the incentives to abuse the process are much reduced.


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