A new report from the Institute for Justice asserts that police and prosecutors nationwide are abusing their forfeiture privileges by seizing property to pad their budgets, in many cases never even charging the property owners with a crime.
The 123-page report, issued on Tuesday by the Arlington, Va.-based libertarian public interest law firm, claims that civil asset forfeiture laws in the vast majority of states give law enforcement a financial incentive to pursue forfeitures for money, rather than for justice. That’s because law enforcement agencies are allowed to keep the boats, the cars or the cash, the report says, while property owners bear the burden of fighting to get their goods back and proving their property was not involved in anything illegal.
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