[FoRK] Civil forfeiture run amok

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun Aug 30 16:55:29 PDT 2015

Wow.  First, hard to see how the civil forfeiture pattern and practice is constitutional.  Some marginal rulings have given us a 
creeping sickness.

Second, now that law enforcement is gradually losing their mandate for overreach on drugs, and they lost it on sexual blue laws a 
while ago, they are making a big grab for sex work.  Which, along with the rising groundswell from several directions, seems to 
indicate that legalization of sex work will be one of the next civil rights battles soon.  This kind of over the top enforcement to 
try to stamp out something that won't go away seems like a typical bellwether.

> In Arizona, Ulises Ruiz and his girlfriend, suspected of running illegal massage businesses, had cars, cash, and their home seized 
> by Pima County prosecutors. "It was found by clear and convincing evidence that all of his assets ... were, in fact, the proceeds 
> of criminal activity," said Pima County Deputy Attorney 
> <http://tucson.com/news/blogs/police-beat/judge-suspect-in-prostitution-probe-not-a-flight-risk/article_6b6a908e-a428-5eb4-b2b6-cd3a8c74da95.html> 
> Julie Sottosanti.
> To make matters worse, police say the $15,000 Ruiz's girlfriend put up for Ruiz's bond is invalid, since that money should have 
> been forfeited to them already. Ruiz remains incarcerated. That's right: cops can keep you in jail indefinitely, without 
> convicting you of any crimes, because any money you might use to get out of jail is assumed to be the proceeds of the same 
> criminal activity they haven't yet proved on you.


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