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Title: Libertarians split with Trump over controversial police tactic
Source: FOX News
URL Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201 ... ntroversial-police-tactic.html
Published: Feb 13, 2017
Author: Jennifer G. Hickey
Post Date: 2017-02-15 06:26:47 by Gatlin
Keywords: None
Views: 1027
Comments: 32

The White House has riled the country's civil libertarian wing after President Trump enthusiastically voiced support for a controversial law enforcement tool that allows an individual’s property or assets to be seized without a guilty verdict.

The president weighed in on what's known as "civil asset forfeiture" during an Oval Office meeting last week with sheriffs. The president, who ran on a law-and- order message, said he shared their desire to strengthen the practice and even said he would “destroy” the career of a Texas politician trying to end it.

The comments revived tensions with libertarians who have been fighting the practice under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Already piqued by the selection of former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a vocal supporter of asset forfeiture, to lead the Justice Department, the Libertarian Party itself condemned the comments.

“It was really disappointing to hear those words. He campaigned on the idea of helping people who are on the low end of the economic spectrum and this [law] disproportionately affects minorities and those who do not have the means to hire an attorney,” Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark told Fox News.

Sarwark called the practice "immoral," adding that it is simply “government theft of individual property that flips the nation’s legal system on its head.”

While laws differ across the country, most states allow law enforcement to seize an individual’s assets or property on the suspicion they have been involved in criminal activity. Even if a person is found to be not guilty, some jurisdictions allow the government to keep their property.

Sheriff John Aubrey of Louisville, Ky., said he was heartened by his meeting with Trump because he, unlike the last administration, will give them a "fair hearing" on asset forfeiture.

He also believes there is a misconception that police just take property but stressed that they cannot do so before getting a court order.

Trump signaled he would fight reform efforts in Congress, saying politicians could “get beat up really badly by the voters” if they pursue laws to limit police authority.

The comments could signal an abrupt halt to efforts to curb the practice under the Obama administration, which also had faced heavy criticism from civil libertarians and criminal justice reform advocates.

Brittany Hunter of the free-market Foundation for Economic Education wrote that the president’s “egregious comments” effectively destroy “any hope that his administration will be better on this issue than President Obama. In fact, the situation may very well become worse.”

According to the Institute for Justice, a civil liberties law firm, the Department of Justice’s Assets Forfeiture Fund generated $93.7 million in revenue in 1986. By 2014, the annual figure had reached $4.5 billion -- a 4,667 percent increase. The practice surged for years under the Obama administration.

While critics believe the policy creates a profit incentive for law enforcement, police organizations say it is an important tool and charges of abuse have been blown out of proportion.

“There are those who see an incident of one and want to apply the rule of many, but we have found the annual number of incidents [of abuse] is miniscule,” Jonathan Thompson of the National Sheriffs Association told Fox News.

Thompson said the issue was addressed in a conversation with Sessions, who views it as a priority, and he believes the Trump administration will be more supportive than the Obama administration in lifting “the burden on local law enforcement.”

He added that law enforcement are not opposed to reforms and that he plans to keep his focus on increasing independent judicial review and transparency.

Candidates running on the Libertarian ticket in the midterm elections are likely to make Trump’s record on criminal justice reform and the Sessions selection an issue, in a bid to peel off voters from across the political spectrum.

“Our candidates will make [asset forfeiture] an issue for Republicans and Democrats on the state and federal level in 2018. We will make them answer to voters on these issues,” Sarwark warned.

Many of the states key to Trump’s victory have passed reforms.

Last year, Ohio passed a law that prohibits taking assets valued at less than $15,000 without a criminal conviction. Other states also passed differing degrees of reform, including New Hampshire, Florida, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Maryland and New Mexico.

Largely an uncontroversial issue for decades, the government’s war on drugs in the 1980s led to its rapid expansion, but media coverage of abuses has led to a public blowback.

A 2015 report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), found that of those Philadelphia residents who had their assets taken, nearly one-third were never convicted of a crime and that almost 60 percent of cash seizures were for amounts less than $250.

“Civil asset forfeiture reform is an area where you cannot ignore the public demand,” said Kanya Bennett, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

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#1. To: Gatlin (#0)

President Trump enthusiastically voiced support for a controversial law enforcement tool that allows an individual’s property or assets to be seized without a guilty verdict.

In a sane world, that would be called theft or robbery.

In police state Amerika - it's cheered by the pseudo-conservatives here at LF and elsewhere.

Trump appears to be against any reforms to the current system of legalized larceny from innocent Americans.

“There are those who see an incident of one and want to apply the rule of many, but we have found the annual number of incidents [of abuse] is miniscule,” Jonathan Thompson of the National Sheriffs Association told Fox News.

How can you tell if a cop is lying?

His lips are moving.

Nearly 1 in 10 Knows Somebody Who Has Had Property Seized Without Criminal Charges

Presumed Guilty: Civil asset forfeiture creates perverse incentives that can cost you your property.

Did you know that inanimate objects could be found "guilty" in a court of law and ultimately become the property of the state?

Just ask Mark Brewer, a disabled Air Force veteran who was pulled over in Nebraska in November 2011 after changing lanes without signaling on Interstate 80 – a traffic infraction that cost him more than $63,500.

The deputy sheriff who pulled him over claimed he smelled marijuana and searched Brewer's car. He found no drugs, but did find two backpacks containing $63,530 in cash, which Brewer said he was taking to California with the intent of using it as a down payment on a home. The deputy seized the cash, claiming drug residue had been detected on the money.

Brewer challenged the seizure in federal court to get his money back, but despite his lack of a criminal record and never being charged with a crime in the case, he lost his lengthy appeal in March 2015 – along with the money.

Under civil asset forfeiture, law enforcement can seize private property in this fashion without a search warrant or an indictment, much less a conviction, based solely on the suspicion that the property has been involved in criminal activity. This is the very opposite of the notion of innocent till proven guilty, which is the basis of this country's justice system.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-02-15   8:44:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Gatlin (#0)

"and this [law] disproportionately affects minorities and those who do not have the means to hire an attorney,”

Bullshit. Those without the means are provided counsel under 18 U.S.C. § 983(b) (1):

"If a person with standing to contest the forfeiture of property in a judicial civil forfeiture proceeding under a civil forfeiture statute is financially unable to obtain representation by counsel ... the court, at the request of the person, shall insure that the person is represented by an attorney for the Legal Services Corporation with respect to the claim."

That took 60 seconds to find with Google -- something the author of this article failed to do because she has an agenda.

Oh, and if this law "disproportionately affects minorities" it's because minorities disproportionately deal drugs.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-15   10:10:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Deckard (#1)

"He found no drugs, but did find two backpacks containing $63,530 in cash"

And they found two articles entitled “How to Make Wicked Hash” and “How to Make Weed Oil without Blowing Yourself Up.” Plus documentation containing the names Mark A. Brewer and Mark A. Biener.

"While running this check, Deputy Win Wintle Wintle questioned Brewer about his travel plans. Brewer told Deputy Wintle that he was traveling to Los Angeles to visit his uncle, and was hopeful that his uncle would provide him with employment. He informed Deputy Wintle that he did not have enough money for a hotel and was staying at rest stops along his route."

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-15   10:31:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: misterwhite (#3)

And they found two articles entitled “How to Make Wicked Hash” and “How to Make Weed Oil without Blowing Yourself Up.” Plus documentation containing the names Mark A. Brewer and Mark A. Biener.

Last time I checked, books are not illegal.

"He found no drugs, but did find two backpacks containing $63,530 in cash"

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-02-15   10:46:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Gatlin (#0)

Libertarians split with Trump over controversial police tactic

The title is certainly misleading, unless it means the split is between Trump and virtually all libertarians. Virtually all libertarians are opposed to CAF and always have been, and Trumps position on the matter has never been in question.

Trump signaled he would fight reform efforts in Congress, saying politicians could “get beat up really badly by the voters” if they pursue laws to limit police authority.

I doubt it. The wave of populism that won Trump the presidency is one that rejected globalism over nationalism. That same wave will favor local governance over federalism. People want more control over their lives, not less.

Brittany Hunter of the free-market Foundation for Economic Education wrote that the president’s “egregious comments” effectively destroy “any hope that his administration will be better on this issue than President Obama. In fact, the situation may very well become worse.”

There was never any hope that Trump would be better on this issue. Trump never understood the importance of due process and rights. This is perhaps his weakest area.

He also believes there is a misconception that police just take property but stressed that they cannot do so before getting a court order.

Sounds like complete hogwash to me.

“There are those who see an incident of one and want to apply the rule of many, but we have found the annual number of incidents [of abuse] is miniscule,” Jonathan Thompson of the National Sheriffs Association told Fox News.

So abuse does occur, but it should be allowed because not too many innocent people lose lots of legally earned money, so innocent people should only be a little afraid that it might happen to them.

And I don't buy the "miniscule" part. Power corrupts, and the political attention CAF is getting is likely the only thing that dissuades more abuse than there is now. Remove that attention and it will get worse.

Pinguinite  posted on  2017-02-15   11:02:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Pinguinite (#5)

Virtually all libertarians are opposed to CAF

Why are libertarians opposed to the Confederation of African Football?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-02-15   11:05:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: A K A Stone (#6)

Funny!

Pinguinite  posted on  2017-02-15   11:26:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Pinguinite (#7)

Funny!

Whenever I hear CAF I always think Confederation of African Football.

Which CAF were you referring to? I honestly don't know.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-02-15   11:30:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: A K A Stone (#8)

Civil Asset Forfeiture.

Pinguinite  posted on  2017-02-15   11:40:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Deckard (#4)

"He found no drugs ..."

True. If he had we'd be talking about criminal asset forfeiture.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-15   12:00:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: misterwhite (#10)

"He found no drugs ..."

True. If he had we'd be talking about criminal asset forfeiture.

Since no drugs were found, there was no crime committed.

So in other words, it was theft by armed thugs.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-02-15   12:35:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Deckard (#11)

Since no drugs were found, there was no crime committed.

So in other words, it was theft by armed thugs.

Be honest. If no drugs were found does that mean he didn't do the crime?

Be honest. If not body is found that means no murder has occurred correct?

I'm just weighing in on this single comment you made.

Should crack and heroin dealers get to keep their profits even if they already sold the drugs?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-02-15   12:38:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Deckard (#11)

"Since no drugs were found, there was no crime committed."

A crime was committed alright, but there wasn't enough evidence to convict an individual for it.

"So in other words, it was theft by armed thugs."

No, the fruits of that criminal activity were forfeited.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-15   12:48:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: A K A Stone (#12)

If no drugs were found does that mean he didn't do the crime?

The only "crime" he committed was carrying a large amount of cash.

Charging an inanimate object (like cash, cars or homes) with a crime is ludicrous.

It's theft.

I thought you considered yourself a moral person.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-02-15   12:48:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: misterwhite, chipMONK CharLEE, PHat TOOOZEday (#13)

"For courage mounteth with occasion."
-- William Shakespeare, "King John" LongDONG MacGILLuhKUddY!!

(Compliments of the Linux Fortune program.)

Told ya...MUD new IT all a...LOOOooong...ta dahhh!!

Now U dew it, mi amigo...IT ain't hard and it's sorta FUN 2 FUCK with the RATZ...MUD33

"Devolve Power Outta the Federal Leviathan and Back to the States,
Localities, and Individuals as Prescribed in the US Constitution."

Mudboy Slim  posted on  2017-02-15   13:20:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Deckard (#14)

"The only "crime" he committed was carrying a large amount of cash."

You do realize you're the only one saying he committed a crime, right?

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-15   13:38:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: misterwhite (#13)

A crime was committed alright, but there wasn't enough evidence to convict an individual for it.

Your lack of understanding of the concept of "due process" means you are obviously not fit to sit on a jury.

Pinguinite  posted on  2017-02-15   13:59:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: A K A Stone (#12)

Be honest. If no drugs were found does that mean he didn't do the crime?

The standard of due process means that those accused of crimes must be proven to have committed those crimes for the guilty verdict to stand. A "not guilty" verdict does not mean and never has meant they absolutely did not do the crime. It simply means there was insufficient evidence to prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

I think this is based on the concept of "It's better for '10 guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to go to prison". But under CAF, it seems to now mean that it's okay for some innocent people to lose their rightly obtained property than for others to keep their illgotten gains, as long as most of those affected are guilty.

Should crack and heroin dealers get to keep their profits even if they already sold the drugs?

If you can prove they really are drug dealers, then no. But if you can't prove that, then we are not certain to be talking about crack/heroin dealers.

We do not have and never have had a perfect legal world where all who commit crimes are caught, convicted and sentenced.

Pinguinite  posted on  2017-02-15   14:09:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Deckard (#14)

The only "crime" he committed was carrying a large amount of cash.

Charging an inanimate object (like cash, cars or homes) with a crime is ludicrous.

It's theft.

I thought you considered yourself a moral person.

I saw someone somewhere else post that he had directions on how to make hash or something.

Wouldn't that lend credability to him having commited a crime?

I'm saying what is your honest opinion on the fact if he sold drugs?

Not if he should get away with it for lack of finding drugs on him.

I'm just asking questions. I think he probably did it. But that doesn't mean I think they should take his money.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-02-15   15:20:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: Pinguinite (#18)

See 19.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-02-15   15:20:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: A K A Stone (#20)

I saw someone somewhere else post that he had directions on how to make hash or something.

Wouldn't that lend credability to him having commited a crime?

If he also had on his possession books about making drugs, then yes, it would lend credibility to the allegation of the money being from drug sales. But I'll turn the question back on you. If it was enough to prove the case, why wasn't he charged and convicted?

I'm saying what is your honest opinion on the fact if he sold drugs?

My opinion, given the cash and the how-to books, is that he more likely than not was in the drug trade. But my opinion, or yours, is not due process, and is not sufficient legal or moral grounds to take this man's money.

Pinguinite  posted on  2017-02-15   16:05:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: Pinguinite (#17) (Edited)

"Your lack of understanding of the concept of "due process" me means you are obviously not fit to sit on a jury."

Are you saying due process is lacking in civil asset forfeiture cases?

Rather than make libelous accusations against me, perhaps a better use of your time would be explaining your position. Assuming you have one.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-16   9:33:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: Gatlin (#0)

The president weighed in on what's known as "civil asset forfeiture" during an Oval Office meeting last week with sheriffs. The president, who ran on a law-and- order message, said he shared their desire to strengthen the practice and even said he would “destroy” the career of a Texas politician trying to end it.

This is a very dishonest way to report Trump's offhand remarks.

Trump probably has no real opinions on the matter. Sessions does favor the current regime of civil forfeiture banditry, at least judging from some of his past remarks. Congress is increasingly dubious about them and many states are going the same direction with a few moving to forbid asset forfeiture with a directly-related criminal conviction.

I don't believe Trump has actually committed to any real position on asset forfeiture without convictions. And that is the crux of the matter.

Sheriff John Aubrey of Louisville, Ky., said he was heartened by his meeting with Trump because he, unlike the last administration, will give them a "fair hearing" on asset forfeiture.

He also believes there is a misconception that police just take property but stressed that they cannot do so before getting a court order.

This guy is a tool. Even if he and his department are getting proper court orders for seizure doesn't mean that that applies across the country in either federal-related or strictly state-authorized asset seizures.

Fox News does a really lousy job of reporting so many stories. No doubt, Napolitano will present the facts if they ask him but this is just sloppy reporting throughout. There isn't even a real story here.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-02-16   9:57:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: Tooconservative, Gatlin, Deckard, pinguinite (#23)

This is a very dishonest way to report Trump's offhand remarks.

Trump probably has no real opinions on the matter. Sessions does favor the current regime of civil forfeiture banditry, at least judging from some of his past remarks. Congress is increasingly dubious about them and many states are going the same direction with a few moving to forbid asset forfeiture with a directly-related criminal conviction.

I don't believe Trump has actually committed to any real position on asset forfeiture without convictions. And that is the crux of the matter.

I saw a very interesting article somewhere the other day. Was going to post it.

Anyhow it said something about using the money seized from asses forfeiture cases to go to a defense fund. You know like when you plead not guilty and you need a lawyer. The money should go for that. Either that or split it between police and public defenders. So people can have a better lawyer. THoughts anyone?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-02-16   10:01:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: A K A Stone (#19)

"Wouldn't that lend credability to him having commited a crime?"

By itself? No. It was the totality of the evidence that gave the officer enough reasonable suspicion to seize the cash.

-- Brewer's story was full of holes. He said he was out of work, on disability, and sleeping in rest stops because he had no money. Yet he had $1,000 in cash in his pocket.

-- A drug- sniffing dog hit on the trunk where the officer found two backpacks containing $63,530 in cash. The backpacks had a strong odor of raw marijuana.

-- The officer also found two articles entitled “How to Make Wicked Hash” and “How to Make Weed Oil without Blowing Yourself Up.”

-- In addition, he found documentation containing the names Mark A. Brewer and Mark A. Biener.

A reasonable person would conclude a crime had been committed. But, there is no probable cause to arrest the person. Under these circumstances the cash may be temporarily seized as evidence.

If he can provide proof that the cash was acquired legally, he may present that in court.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-16   10:05:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: misterwhite (#25)

If he can provide proof that the cash was acquired legally, he may present that in court.

Proving your innocence is not our system.

They are supposed to prove the crime. Jury trial if he wants it.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-02-16   10:10:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: A K A Stone (#26)

"Proving your innocence is not our system."

Having to prove the legality of the seized asset is our system and has been for centuries.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-16   10:15:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#28. To: misterwhite (#22)

Rather than make libelous accusations against me,

No, no libel here. You said this:

A crime was committed alright, but there wasn't enough evidence to convict an individual for it.

You are completely certain that a crime was committed while simultaneously admitting three was not enough evidence to convict someone for the crime you think they committed. What more blatant admission for disqualification for jury service can there be? A defense attorney would toss you out in a heartbeat.

Pinguinite  posted on  2017-02-16   10:22:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#29. To: Pinguinite (#28)

"You are completely certain that a crime was committed while simultaneously admitting three was not enough evidence to convict someone for the crime you think they committed."

Many said that about OJ. I suppose they're all not qualified to sit on a jury?

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-16   10:32:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#30. To: A K A Stone (#24)

Anyhow it said something about using the money seized from asses forfeiture cases to go to a defense fund. You know like when you plead not guilty and you need a lawyer. The money should go for that. Either that or split it between police and public defenders. So people can have a better lawyer. THoughts anyone?

The local pork likes that money to buy fancy new cars and special weapons and armored cars and stingray spy devices and other off-budget goodies, like pricey trips to resort hotels for "police conferences" and such.

Good look trying to wean them from that teat.

OTOH, I wouldn't object greatly if this is what was done with forfeitures from criminal convictions. Otherwise, I entirely oppose forfeiture without conviction.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-02-16   10:36:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#31. To: misterwhite (#27)

Having to prove the legality of the seized asset is our system and has been for centuries.

That was not the policy since 1817. It happened in the 1900's. It is not our system it is tyranny. We steal your shit.

Truthfully it is an anti American pro tyranny concept. That is the truth if you know it or not.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-02-16   10:38:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#32. To: A K A Stone (#31)

From http://www.forbes.com/2011/06/08/property-civil-forfeiture.html

American forfeiture law arose from the British Navigation Acts of the mid-17th century. Passed during England’s vast expansion as a maritime power, the Acts required that any ships importing or exporting goods from British ports fly under the British flag. If the Acts were violated, the ships or the cargo could be seized and forfeited to the crown regardless of the guilt or innocence of the owner. The British laws focused on seizing the assets because they could punish violations of the law even when they could not capture the violators.

Using the British statutes as a model, the first U.S. Congress passed forfeiture statutes to aid in the collection of customs duties, which provided up to 90 percent of the finances for the federal government during that time.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld early forfeiture statutes. Most important to understanding these early cases is the underlying rationale for permitting civil forfeiture even against innocent property owners. The Court reasoned that civil forfeiture was closely tied to the practical necessities of enforcing admiralty, piracy and customs laws. Such forfeiture permitted courts to obtain jurisdiction over property when it was virtually impossible to obtain jurisdiction over the persons guilty of violating maritime law.

Justice Joseph Story wrote that the “vessel which commits the aggression is treated as the offender, as the guilty instrument or thing to which the forfeiture attachés, without any reference whatsoever to the character or conduct of the owner.” Justice Story justified these forfeitures “from the necessity of the case, as the only adequate means of suppressing the offense or wrong, or insuring an indemnity to the injured party.”

misterwhite  posted on  2017-02-16   11:02:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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