Forfeiture law a farce
It is unfortunate that Jeff Sessions is directing law enforcement to increase civil forfeiture. I believe for Sessions, who is sworn to uphold the Constitution, to advocate a practice that is directly in violation of the taking clause of the Fifth Amendment is a travesty, and an insult to the American people.
Almost 90 percent of the people whose assets are taken are never charged with a crime, let alone convicted, yet their property is taken from them without any hearing. It’s reported that the Feds take more property than is lost in all burglaries in the United States, and thus are bigger thieves than the actual thieves.
This is not about drug enforcement, it’s about raising revenue, most often on the backs of innocent people who cannot afford to lose their assets, and cannot afford to mount a challenge to get their property returned since the legal costs of doing so in many cases exceed the value of the property confiscated.
No one wants to see criminals profit from their ill-gotten gains. But if assets are to be taken, it needs to be only after a criminal conviction, where due process has taken place. Otherwise, this already unconstitutional practice should be banned outright.
THOMAS A. BECKETT Siloam Springs