Civil Asset Forfeiture is not FAIR

Civil Asset Forfeiture is not FAIR

It’s one of those things that sounds unreal. It sounds like something you never thought could actually happen where you live, with all your constitutional rights, with all of history behind you. But somehow civil asset forfeiture is a reality, a reality that has been going on for 30 years.

Originally part of the War on Drugs, civil asset forfeiture effectively means that Americans today can be presumed guilty until proven innocent. Without committing a crime, a person’s property can be seized, making a mockery of due process.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has tabled the appropriately acronym-ed FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act.

Speaking on Fox, Paul said that the FAIR Act will “protect the rights of property owners and restore the Fifth Amendment’s role in property proceedings” (Breitbart)

Although civil asset forfeiture in the contemporary era has its roots in the War on Drugs there is an increasing tendency within the halls of power to utilize it for pretty much anything as Carole Hinders found out:

“Carole Hinders has made an honest living owning and operating Mrs. Lady’s for the last 38 years. But in August of 2013, everything she saved–roughly $33,000–was seized by the Internal Revenue Service. Hinders has not been charged for tax evasion, or money laundering–in fact, one year later, she still has not been charged for any crime at all. The IRS claims her bank account was seized solely because she was depositing less than $10,000 at a time.”

“Last time I checked, making small cash deposits into a personal checking account is not a crime.” (Breitbart)

Given the burgeoning idea that America is indeed a police state when you hear about what the police are doing with the cash (and it is mainly cash) that they’re seizing you’re going to be pretty pissed off. Chip Mellor’s excellent review of this heinous crap is a worthwhile read.

“Most states and the federal government allow law enforcement agencies to keep 90 percent or more of the profits from assets they forfeit. This money may be used for better equipment, nicer offices, newer vehicles, trips to law enforcement conventions and–in states like Texas–even police salaries. Thus, law enforcement agencies benefit in a very direct way from every dollar in assets and currency they manage to seize and forfeit. This profit motive forms the rotten core of forfeiture abuse.” (Forbes)

So there we have it. The police state is stealing from those whom it has sworn to protect in order to finance salaries, ‘training’ weekends and seminars in holiday locations and anything they need to keep doing what they’re doing already. Russia may be known as the mafia state, America’s mafia wears uniforms and has a phone number. What do you think? Have you ever experienced civil asset forfeiture? Let us know, join the discussion below the line, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Written by Abezier Coppe

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