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Freedom's Phoenix

Asset Forfeiture

October 7, 2008 - 12:00am
Richard Sutton by Richard Sutton


Since the 1970 RICO Act we have had an ever increasing threat to all Americans. RICO, FISA, and the Patriot Acts have made it profitable and easy for law enforcement agencies at every level to seize property on a suspicion much less a conviction.

An excerpt from Peter McWilliams excellent book "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do" demonstrates the corrupting effect this can have on law enforcement:

One example: When an accused consensual criminal's land, property, or money is seized under federal assets forfeiture laws, the income is split between federal and local law enforcement. According to the Los Angeles Times (April 13, 1993), however, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department failed to turn over $60 million to the feds. A former sheriff's department sergeant was quoted as saying the sheriff's department "stole $60 million" from the feds in 1988 and 1989 drug busts, and the Times added, "he is convinced such practices continue."

To make things worse if your property is seized by law enforcement agencies they have no responsibility to return it in good condition and may have already sold it.  You may have to go to court to get your property back and in some cases may find that it is unrecoverable even if you win your case!

There is a reform movement that aims to sanitize this problem but I suspect that "tweaking" such an nasty system is not going to help.   It would be far more appropriate for the supreme court to uphold the fourth amendment!

Related Content:

The Catharsis of the American Civil War: How the Near Division of the United States Served to Strengthen the Union - Kimberly Ruff
Real ID, PASS Act Deadline Extension - Nick Coons
United States Government Prepares to Control the Internet via Senate Bill 773 - Jim Iannuzo

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