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Press Release

FreedomWorks Drives More Than 50,000 Messages of Support for Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform in Ohio

10/05/2016

Today, Ohio State Senators Kris Jordan (R-19) and Cecil Thomas (D-9) were joined by FreedomWorks President and CEO Adam Brandon and U.S. Justice Action Network Executive Director Holly Harris to push for passage of H.B. 347, a bill to reform Ohio’s civil asset forfeiture laws. On the call, Brandon announced that Ohioans have inundated state legislators with nearly 52,000 messages of support.

Adam Brandon, President and CEO, FreedomWorks, said: “As a native of Cleveland, I have been glad to see Ohio make great strides in reforming its justice system, and this bill will bring that work home in one more area. Ohioans responded to FreedomWorks’ call to action by making more than 52,000 messages. Candidates during this election season are hearing a powerful message: Ohioans want this reform, and they want it now. We’re grateful to Senators Jordan and Thomas for taking the lead on this issue in the upper chamber.”

Kris Jordan, Ohio State Senator (R-19), said: “The current civil asset forfeiture process in Ohio does not reflect the doctrine of innocent until proven guilty, and common sense dictates that we return to the rule of law that has been a foundation of our legal system. We have a duty to ensure that citizens and their property are treated with dignity in the course of pursuing justice, and this bill is an important step toward protecting property from unnecessary seizure. I am grateful for Senator Thomas' support on this issue and call on the rest of our lawmakers to pass this bipartisan bill now.”

Cecil Thomas, Ohio State Senator (D-9), said: “Our forfeiture system is being abused when property belonging to Ohio citizens is deemed guilty first until proven innocent. No one should have to fear that his or her possessions might be seized without a conviction. I am glad to join Senator Thomas in support of this bill, and I urge other lawmakers to join us in this bipartisan effort.”

Holly Harris, Executive Director, U.S. Justice Action Network, said: “In a time of great political division, support for justice reforms remains unified across party affiliations as we’ve seen in our Ohio polling. Ohio legislators like Senators Jordan and Thomas have been leading the way in tackling smart justice reforms, and we call on their colleagues in the Ohio Senate and House to join them by passing smart civil asset forfeiture reform legislation.

About FreedomWorks:

FreedomWorks aims to educate, build and mobilize the largest network of activists advocating the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty and the rule of law. For more information, please visit www.FreedomWorks.org.

About U.S. Justice Action Network:

U.S. Justice Action Network is the first action organization in the country to bring together progressive and conservative partners, collaborate with law enforcement, and employ federal and state-specific lobbying, public advocacy, and public education efforts to pass sweeping criminal justice reforms. U.S. Justice Action Network’s partner organizations include the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform, the Center for American Progress, Faith & Freedom Coalition, FreedomWorks, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and Right on Crime.