D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Quote of the Day: “Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets, all without so much as charging you with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, where property is taken after its owner has been found guilty in a court of law, with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with or convicted of a crime to lose homes, cars, cash or other property. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but civil forfeiture turns that principle on its head.” – The Institute For Justice, “Policing For Profits”

Civil asset forfeiture is the practice of seizing and keeping property that police claim was used in a crime.

* The government does not have to prove their claim in court under the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”
* Instead of “innocent until proven guilty” the property owner must prove innocence at his or her own expense
* Incredibly, the funds necessary to pay for that defense are often also confiscated

Police departments are growing more dependent on forfeitures to pay for their budgets. This means no one is safe . . .

* Instead of “protecting and serving” the people, police are pressured to investigate “crimes” which provide the best opportunity to seize property and cash,
* You can lose your car, your cash, or other property through a simple misunderstanding, or because you “look” suspicious
* And even where there are state laws protecting the innocent against abuses, the federal government rewards local police departments for evading state law!

Civil asset forfeiture is a moral and constitutional outrage. Yet the courts permit it. Only public pressure will bring this corrupt and barbaric practice to an end, so we’re asking you to tell Congress to End Asset Forfeiture.
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