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Blog

Oklahoma to Continue Trend of Conservative Justice Reforms

While the junior senator from neighboring Arkansas continues to seriously mischaracterize legislation designed to reform the federal sentencing and corrections policies, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signaled in her State of the State address Monday that she is ready to continue the trend of conservative states acting on justice reform.

02/01/2016
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Blog

Oklahomans Overwhelmingly Support Legislation to End Civil Asset Forfeiture

Legislation introduced in Oklahoma to require a criminal conviction before property can be forfeited to the government has strong backing from likely voters in the Sooner State, according to a survey released on Thursday. The survey also found strong support for law enforcement in the state. This highlights that support of civil asset forfeiture reform and appreciation for those who protect and survey communities are not mutually exclusive.

09/28/2015
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Blog

Elderly Oklahoma couple experienced government overreach first-hand in a botched raid

In March 2012, Linda Goss was in her residence at 238 Navajo Place in Mannford, Oklahoma, a small town located about 25 miles west of Tulsa, waiting for her husband, Donald, to return from a fishing trip, when deputies from the Creek County Sheriff's Department raided their home. Deputies were executing a search obtained by Deputy Scott Forrester. The only problem is, deputies raided the wrong home, beginning a nightmare for the Gosses in which they were wrongly detained and their property was seized on false premises.

09/09/2015
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Blog

No charges filed in more than a third of Oklahoma civil asset forfeiture cases

The presumption of innocence is a basic principle of the American legal system. Americans are presumed innocent of any allegations of illicit activity until proven guilty by the government in court. But this principle does not apply to civil asset forfeiture in most states, including Oklahoma.

09/02/2015
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Blog

Preserving the Fifth Amendment is the key to civil asset forfeiture reform in Oklahoma

On Tuesday, Oklahoma state Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) hosted a panel of national experts to discuss the Sooner State's civil asset forfeiture laws. State Sen. Loveless invited me to speak via Skype, and my prepared remarks can be read below. Other panelists included John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation and Adam Bates of the Cato Institute.

09/01/2015
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Press Release

Oklahoma Panel on Civil Asset Forfeiture

At 9:00am CT today, Oklahoma State Senator Kyle Loveless will host a panel discussion on Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform. Jason Pye of FreedomWorks will speak at 9:25am CT via Skype.

09/01/2015
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Blog

Yes, civil asset forfeiture denies innocent people of their right to due process

Oklahoma has some of the worst civil asset forfeiture laws in the country. According to FreedomWorks' state scorecard, Civil Asset Forfeiture: Grading the States, the standard of proof the government needs to subject property allegedly connected to a crime to forfeiture is too low and, in an inversion of justice, the property owner, who may never be charged with a crime, must show that the property was obtained through legal means to get it back. Additionally, a perverse profit motive exists, as Oklahoma law enforcement agencies can keep up to 100 percent of the proceeds from forfeitures.

08/04/2015
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Blog

Conservatives and progressives come together to protect innocent Oklahomans property rights

The effort to reform Oklahoma's terrible civil asset forfeiture laws has brought together unlikely bedfellows from the ideologically opposed think tanks. In an op-ed published on Sunday, Terry England, vice president for strategic initiatives at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and Gene Perry, policy director at the Oklahoma Policy Institute, explained the perilous situation that property owners in which innocent Sooner State residents could find themselves under current state law.

08/03/2015
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Blog

Mary Fallin should get behind the effort to protect innocent Oklahomans from civil asset forfeiture

During a recent a recent discussion with Oklahoma journalists, Gov. Mary Fallin indicated that reforms were necessary to the Sooner State's awful civil asset forfeiture laws. How far she is willing to go remains to be seen.

06/09/2015
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Blog

Oklahoma lawmaker comes under fire for trying to protect innocent people's property

State Sen Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) recognizes that Oklahoma lacks adequate protections for innocent people whose property is seized by overzealous law enforcement. With the Oklahoma Legislature set to adjourn at the end of May, he decided to begin a conversation about civil asset forfeiture reform.

05/12/2015

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