[FoRK] Civil forfeiture run amok

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Sun Aug 30 21:57:28 PDT 2015

Seems that the real addiction problem here is police departments to
money from civil forfeiture.  Not sure there's a solution, since even
well-funded police departments will usually want more than they get
from local taxes.

Ken Meltsner

On Sun, Aug 30, 2015 at 4:55 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
> 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.
> http://reason.com/blog/2015/08/28/asset-forfeiture-for-sex-workers
>> 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.
> sdw
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