Justice Department resumes controversial forfeiture program

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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10 Responses

  1. Guy says:

    I misread the title as “Justice Department removes…”

    Sad thing when I got to this tab.Report

  2. Road Scholar says:

    Unfortunate, but not unexpected. The kickbacks payments to local LE agencies were merely suspended for budgetary reasons, not terminated because they’re a loathsome practice.

    The really loathsome and knotty issue now is how CAF has become SOP and therefore a standard and expected revenue source for LE budgets at all levels. Another example I suppose of conservative caution against the unseen consequence.Report

  3. Damon says:

    The money has rolled in. Let the good times roll again! All your assets belong to us.Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    At least yesterday’s decision on Luis v US put them back in the box a bit.Report

  5. Stillwater says:

    So, the justice department suspended asset seizure because the program was underfunded, but now that it’s back in the black the seizing of individual’s wealth can start again? Why does that strike me as some darkly hilarious logic?

    Also, I’m not sure I believe that account. When the program was discontinued I don’t recall any mention that the lack of funds was a motivator. THe argument back then was about Justice!, wasn’t it?Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

      That’s what I remember, too. Came shortly after Oliver, didn’t it? But I’ve been told by a few people now that it was always about the funding.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

        From WaPo 12/24/2015:

        On Monday, the Justice Department suspended its abusive “equitable sharing” asset forfeiture program, which incentivizes state and local governments to seize the property of criminal suspects – including many who have never even been charged with any crime, much less convicted. …. {{yadayada}} , a practice that violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. … Unfortunately, the Justice Department did not suspend the equitable sharing program because they concluded it was unjust and unconstitutional, but only because of budget cuts. They hope to restart it in the future:

        Apparently, “asset forfeiture” and “equitable sharing” are two different things!! I read a bit more about it and it’s entirely unclear to me whether anything has changed at all.Report

  6. Kazzy says:

    Related: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/23/cops-took-more-stuff-from-people-than-burglars-did-last-year/?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email

    Money quote:
    “Still, boil down all the numbers and caveats above and you arrive at a simple fact: In the United States, in 2014, more cash and property transferred hands via civil asset forfeiture than via burglary. The total value of asset forfeitures was more than one-third of the total value of property stolen by criminals in 2014. That represents something of a sea change in the way police do business — and it’s prompting plenty of scrutiny of the practice.”Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Kazzy says:

      I’d be shocked if burglars could ever take as much as asset forfeiture. Burglars find it hard to steal your whole house (and all it’s contents), the contents of your bank accounts (including the ones in the Caymans), your boats, cars, etc…

      Burglars are stuck with your jewelry and TV.Report