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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Civil Forfeiture Reform May be in Trouble

BLOGGER COMMENTS: To begin with, the passage of reform was always iffy.  It's easy enough to point out injustice but it's darned hard to correct it when entrenched money is involved.  Senator Orr appears to be a champion of lost causes:  forfeiture reform, a lottery that benefits education exclusively, sheriffs starving inmates to pad their pockets....Oh, wait a minute.  We won that one.!

There's always another legislative session.  He'll try again.  

From the legislature:

Asset seizures
Decatur Sen. Arthur Orr’s bill to prohibit law enforcement agencies from seizing the assets of people who haven’t been convicted of a crime again met resistance Thursday on the Senate floor and did not get a vote. It could come up again though.
Under Alabama’s civil asset forfeiture law, police can seize property if they have reason to believe it was criminally gained. Even if there’s no conviction, law enforcement can keep the property with a civil court order.
On the Senate floor Thursday, Orr said one in four people who have their assets taken are never criminally charged.
“We didn’t convict, much less charge the person whose property we have,” he said. “That’s something I think the public ought to know.”
Some law enforcement agencies oppose Orr’s bill.
“I’m getting some dings from back home on this,” Sen. Steve Livingston, R-Scottsboro, said on the Senate floor before the bill was carried over.  I'll just bet.  Many DA's and law enforcement officials are 'dinging' all right.

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