by Barry Smith
Here’s a good idea for the new GOP Congress: Get rid of the federal civil forfeiture law.
How this law remains on the books is beyond me. Bit seems wrong to me — and just plain un-American — to be able seize property from innocent people. But under federal law, you can.
• One city attorney called his legal documents a “masterpiece of deception” and has won 96 percent of his forfeiture cases.
• An assistant district attorney takes property, even from owners who have been acquitted, because “people are not found innocent, they are found not guilty.”
• One government official doesn’t want to disclose information about civil forfeiture, because it might become a “bullet-point for people that are trying to fight the program.”
• A prosecutor teaches other attorneys how to take property from innocent people. He even offers this piece of advice, “IF IN DOUBT…TAKE IT!”
OK, new Congress, make it a top priority to get rid of this law. Or better yet, the lame duck Congress could repeal it this year. Congress could send it to President Obama’s desk. He could sign it and give Americans a nice Christmas present.