James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, August 24, 2006

When Cops Become Carjackers

This is my latest at the Partial Observer. Excerpt:
Asset forfeiture is not a new practice – it's been part of the War on Drugs for years. But it does not speak well of our system of "checks and balances," of protecting the "rights of the accused" if the courts tolerate laws and procedures that trample the property rights enshrined in the 5th and 14th Amendments. Regardless of whether Gonzolez's story sticks, this case and every similar case should have been thrown out, with the money or property returned to its rightful owner, because asset forfeiture is itself unconstitutional. I'm all for seizing the property and money of the guilty as a means to compensate the victims in a crime. That's far more efficient and just than prison sentences. But the owner of property used in a crime might not be the person guilty of the crime. If he's innocent, his property should not be taken from him. And this is all the more true if the government can't even prove that a crime has taken place.

1 comment:

  1. Large and small gangs raping, pillaging, killing and looting for control of a given area is different from anarchy in what way?