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Old 03-19-2013, 22:06   #1
Chronos
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Tennessee Bill Would Abolish Civil Forfeiture

http://ij.org/tennessee-bill-would-a...vil-forfeiture

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A new bill would eliminate civil forfeiture in Tennessee. Unlike criminal forfeiture, under civil forfeiture police do not need to convict or even charge a property owner before seizing his property. Civil forfeiture turns “innocent until proven guilty” on its head by forcing owners to prove their innocence to recover the seized property.
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Last year, George Reby, a professional insurance adjuster, had $22,000 in cash seized because a Tennessee officer merely suspected Reby was a drug courier. Reby was never arrested or formally charged with any crime. Even the officer admitted Reby “hadn’t committed a criminal law,” but since “he couldn’t prove [the cash] was legitimate,” Reby’s money was confiscated. Fortunately, after four months, Reby was able to retrieve his cash, but only after signing a waiver not to sue the state.
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Old 03-19-2013, 22:15   #2
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Very cool. We need this everywhere.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:33   #3
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What's the point of enforcing law if you can't make a buck?
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:39   #4
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People here (and elsewhere) like to claim that law enforcement is some kind of neutral entity. They say, police are "just enforcing the law. If you don't like it, then blame the politicians."

This Tennessee situation is just another example of police not being neutral entities by "just enforcing the law." They are undeniably inseparable from the politicians who make the laws.

This GNG thread is another example of police not "just enforcing the law" (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1477744). Law enforcement is actively lobbying for this law that would mandate phone companies store text messages. There are hundreds of these examples annually.

I'm sure Tennessee law enforcement will be opposed to the civil forfeiture law there. They will probably attend the lawmakers' hearings and testify against it. Count on it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:40   #5
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Posted in the wrong thread.
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Old 03-20-2013, 17:49   #6
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There is an inherent conflict of interest in allowing civil forfeiture. Those who grab the goodies benefit directly or indirectly. Often the victim is left without adequate resources to fight the forfeiture in court, and a public defender will not be assigned since it is classed as a civil rather than a criminal proceeding.


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Old 03-21-2013, 04:10   #7
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The bill was introduced by a former State Trooper.

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Old 03-21-2013, 05:25   #8
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Originally Posted by Syclone538 View Post
Very cool. We need this everywhere.
So when they arrest a major drug dealer with $200,000 in drug money in his closet, he gets the money back?
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:39   #9
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So when they arrest a major drug dealer with $200,000 in drug money in his closet, he gets the money back?
Convicted or alleged major drug dealer? Makes a difference. An optional fine is usually one provision for punishment of a person convicted of a criminal act. The government can get the (rest of) the $200,000 at that time.

I could be arrested as a major drug dealer and have my assets seized for civil forfeiture under current law, yet I have never touched illegal drugs and wouldn't recognize them if I saw them. And, as I said in an earlier post, with all my resources having been seized I would have no way to sue the state to get them back. And that is just wrong!


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Old 03-21-2013, 06:05   #10
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My understanding is that this legislation is about civil forfeiture, not criminal. You don't even need to be arrested to forfeit civil assets.

The victory of Russ Caswell is one of many examples where government attempts asset forfeiture without an arrest.

http://www.ij.org/massachusetts-civi...ease-3-15-2013
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:09   #11
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
These bills are usually written and paid for by the high priced criminal defense attorneys (wonder who is paying them to do it?).

Out of curiosity, when do you think the abomination known as civil forfeiture, started in the United States?
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:10   #12
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Originally Posted by railfancwb View Post
Convicted or alleged major drug dealer? Makes a difference. An optional fine is usually one provision for punishment of a person convicted of a criminal act. The government can get the (rest of) the $200,000 at that time.

I could be arrested as a major drug dealer and have my assets seized for civil forfeiture under current law, yet I have never touched illegal drugs and wouldn't recognize them if I saw them. And, as I said in an earlier post, with all my resources having been seized I would have no way to sue the state to get them back. And that is just wrong!


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What if he has never had any job but drug dealing, and is driving a paid for Ferrarri that is in his grandmother's name, and when you ask his grandmother about the car, she says, "What Ferrari?". And, the Ferrarri salesman tells you the drug dealer came in, paid cash for the car out of money in a grocery sack, and told him to put the car in his grandmother's name so it wouldn't be taken as drug profits?

Is the fact that his grandmother is not dealing drugs, sufficient to not be able to seize the Ferrari?

Or would grandmother going to the newspaper later, and saying they had taken her Ferrari, and had never charged her with drugs, be enough to launder the Ferrari, and make it honestly gained, in your mind?
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:57   #13
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Because you say he's a drug dealer we are all supposed to take your word for it?

What are the checks to keep you from abusing this power or making serious mistakes?

Regards,
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:48   #14
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Originally Posted by series1811 View Post
What if he has never had any job but drug dealing, and is driving a paid for Ferrarri that is in his grandmother's name, and when you ask his grandmother about the car, she says, "What Ferrari?". And, the Ferrarri salesman tells you the drug dealer came in, paid cash for the car out of money in a grocery sack, and told him to put the car in his grandmother's name so it wouldn't be taken as drug profits?
I would call that "the market".

Quote:
...seize the Ferrari.
I would call that "the state".


Side-note: Notice too how the state manipulates language. The Indian entrepreneur who runs the smoke shop over in town is "selling" cigarettes. The entrepreneur who is selling drugs is "dealing" drugs. It's analogous to the state's use of the term "compound" for anyone who finds themselves on it's naughty list. You live in a house. Randy Weaver lived in a "compound". The very term "asset forfeiture" has Orwellian undertones.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:01   #15
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Originally Posted by barbedwiresmile View Post
Notice too how the state manipulates language.
concealed carry permit
handgun permit
fishing permit
work permit
temporary driving permit
building permit
vendor permit
gambling permit
hunting permit
protest permit

etc., etc.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:18   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bren View Post
So when they arrest a major drug dealer with $200,000 in drug money in his closet, he gets the money back?
Yes. It's his money


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Old 03-22-2013, 08:28   #17
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It seems like this would have never really been a big issue if the the profitable blackmarkets for drugs were never created. Just one more problem created by the war on drugs.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:36   #18
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Originally Posted by happyguy View Post
Because you say he's a drug dealer we are all supposed to take your word for it?

What are the checks to keep you from abusing this power or making serious mistakes?

Regards,
Comrade Happyguy
I assume you addressing this to Series1811. When this hypothetical case goes to trial, the prosecutors will turn over any information (disciplinary information, any prior sworn testimony about the investigation, etc) about Series1811 that can be used to impeach his testimony to the defense attorney.

Absent any derogatory information, Series1811's testimony will be recognized by the court as credible, though the defense is certainly going to try to dirty him up.

Ironically, the defendant is protected from this same requirement. Under most circumstances, a jury will not be given the defendants prior criminal history.

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Old 03-22-2013, 08:38   #19
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A drug dealer will make better economic use of the money than the government will.


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Old 03-22-2013, 08:41   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbedwiresmile View Post
What's the point of enforcing law if you can't make a buck?


Pinned my Cynical meter!
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