Attorney General Jeff Sessions is one of the worst things to happen to the United States since voters were forced to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He’s continuing to ramp up the failed war on drugs by insisting the police steal even more cash from the citizens they are supposed to “protect and serve.”
There would be no orders if there were no order followers. But since we live in an increasingly oppressive police state, look for civil asset forfeiture (legalized theft by cops) to take a front-seat in Sessions’ beloved “war on drugs.” The Attorney General is demanding police start stealing more than they already do from people.
“We hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture — especially for drug traffickers,” Sessions said in his prepared remarks for a speech to the National District Attorney’s Association in Minneapolis. “With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.” –Washington Post
Jeff Sessions hardly minced words on Monday when said he’d be issuing the new directive this week. He is in support of increasing police seizures of cash and property all to fight a “war on drugs.” Asset forfeiture is nothing short of theft and much like tickets for victimless crimes is nothing more than a scheme by police to steal in the name of government. Without due process, money and property are stolen from a civilian by police. It is a disputed practice that allows law enforcement officials to permanently take money and goods from individuals suspected of a crime.
There is little disagreement among lawmakers, authorities, and criminal justice reformers that “no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.” But in most cases, neither a criminal conviction or even a criminal charge is necessary under forfeiture laws in most states and at the federal level. The mere suspicion of wrongdoing is enough to allow police to seize items permanently. If that sounds a little like the police state in Nazi Germany, welcome to the USSA. Liberty-minded folks have been warning of tyrannical police forces like the one we have now for years, and Sessions wants to put the militarized police on steroids.
Asset forfeiture became a prized hammer in law enforcement’s tool chest in the 1980s, when the government was struggling to combat organized drug cartels. Law enforcement groups say the laws allow them to disrupt drug trafficking operations by targeting their proceeds—cars, cash, and guns.
However, the practice has exploded since then, and civil liberties groups and political advocacy organizations, both liberal and conservative, say the perverse profit incentives and lack of due process for property owners lead to far more average citizens having their property seized than cartel bosses. –Reason
The Justice Department plays a huge role in asset forfeiture through its Equitable Sharing Program. The program is far from constitutional, but the backers of the “thin blue line” and the “war on drugs” care little about human rights. The program allows state and local police to have their forfeiture cases “adopted” by the federal government. When the feds take over the case, the seized money is put into the equitable sharing pool. In return, the department gets up to 80 percent of those funds back. The equitable sharing program distributes hundreds of millions of dollars a year to police departments around the country, giving police more tools to steal even more money and trample the rights and freedom of otherwise peaceful people.
Darpana Sheth, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning public interest law firm, called Sessions’ announcement “a disheartening setback in the fight to protect Americans’ private property rights” in a statement Monday.
That’s an understatement.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.