Sunday, May 2, 2010

Policing for Profit - The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture

This has been a battle that people never pay attention to until it "HAPPENS TO THEM"

This is one of the most Unconstitutional actions government has been allowed to continue to get away with. Why? Because the American Public allows them to.

PAGE 66-67

Michigan has bad civil forfeiture laws—and law enforcement there uses equitable sharing extensively. Michigan requires prosecuting attorneys to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is related to a crime and thus subject to forfeiture. This standard is significantly lower than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard required to actually convict someone of criminal activity. However, owners in Michigan are presumed innocent; unlike in most states, the government bears the burden of establishing that the criminal activity was done with an owner’s knowledge or consent, implied or expressed.

On the other hand, law enforcement receives all proceeds of civil forfeiture to enhance law enforcement efforts, creating an incentive to pursue forfeiture more vigorously than combating other criminal activity. As the numbers below indicate, multi-jurisdictional task forces work extensively with district attorneys and police departments to forfeit property, resulting in more than $149 million in total forfeiture revenue from 2001 to 2008.

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