by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
It’s been called a civil liberties debacle. Watch Jon Guze, John Locke Foundation director of legal studies, explain civil asset forfeiture and federal equitable sharing programs in North Carolina. Guze offered these comments during an interview with Donna Martinez for Carolina Journal Radio.
Jon has written extensively about preventing civil asset forfeiture abuse. Including this:
The best solution for North Carolina (and for the rest of the country) would be for the federal government to cut back or even abolish all of its civil asset forfeiture programs, including equitable sharing. Over the years, there have been several attempts along those lines. In January 2015, for example, then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced a modest cutback in one rather small part of the DOJ’s equitable sharing program.25 A week later, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would have made much more substantial and permanent cuts.26
Sadly, the policy change announced by Mr. Holder turned out to be modest indeed, and Sen. Paul’s bill went nowhere. In December 2015, the DOJ announced that it was temporarily suspending its equitable sharing program altogether,27 but the program was soon reinstated.28 Since then, Sen. Paul and like-minded members of the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced additional reform measures, but without success.29 And, returning us to exactly where we started, in August, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was reversing the modest cutbacks that Eric Holder had made in 2015.30