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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.

1 day ago
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House Judiciary Committee Revisits Kelo, Decides State of Property Rights Not Good

Ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court effectively scratched the line “for public use” from the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, which allows the government to take and repurpose private property. The 5-4 decision in Kelo v. New London said that property may be taken from one private owner and given to another private owner if it will generate more revenue for the city.

07/10/2015
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Blog

Grassroots Response to Kelo Decision

Today represents the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The Supreme Court issues decisions in around eighty cases each year. Some of those decisions, like Kelo, are closely contested 5-4 decisions. But Kelo has been unique because of the response that came from the public.

06/23/2015
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Kelo v. New London: Central Planning Does Not Work, Ruins Lives

Last Thursday, the Cato Institute held an event foreshadowing the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Kelo v. City of New London decision and celebrating the release of Ilya Somin’s new book, The Grasping Hand: “Kelo v. City of New London” & the Limits of Eminent Domain. There was an impressive cast of presenters with welcoming remarks by Richard Epstein, keynote delivered by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and panelists which included attorneys that represented both sides in oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

06/15/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Georgia’s New Civil Asset Forfeiture Law Does Not Go Far Enough

Jason Pye is the Director of Justice Reform for FreedomWorks. Jorge Marin is the Policy Specialist for Criminal Justice Reform for Americans for Tax Reform.

06/10/2015
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Blog

Civil Asset Forfeiture: Changing the Way the Police, Police

Law enforcement’s main duties are to keep the public safe and protect our persons and property. In many states, civil asset forfeiture creates a perverse incentive which can change the priorities that law enforcement pursues.

04/22/2015
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Barack Obama signs new executive order that could put innocent Americans' property at risk

The steps the administration had taken to rein abuse of civil asset forfeiture were undermined on Wednesday when President Barack Obama signed an executive order that ignores Fifth Amendment protections for due process, authorizing the seizure of property from those who are merely suspected of cyber-crime.

04/03/2015
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Blog

Texas Republican legislator introduces bill to ban civil asset forfeiture

Texas has been a national leader on justice reform, passing and implementing landmark programs that have led to significant cost-savings for taxpayers, lower crime, and decreased repeat offender rates. Though the Lone Star State has proven that justice reform works, which is why some lawmakers in Congress are trying to replicate these efforts, it has lagged on another related aspect: civil asset forfeiture reform.

03/30/2015
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Civil Forfeiture Reform: States Have Led, More Need to Follow

Under civil asset forfeiture, the government can take someone’s property without convicting them of a crime. The law has its basis in British admiralty law and makes little sense in today’s modern world. While there are has been some discussion of reforming forfeiture at the federal level, the states are leading the charge to reform. However, more reforms are needed at the state and federal level, and can be based on the reforms already implemented in some states.

03/25/2015
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Blog

Civil Asset Forfeiture: When Due Process and Property Rights Don’t Count

On February 6 the Federalist Society held as Civil Asset Forfeiture Update on Capitol Hill with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Institute for Justice as cosponsors. The event was held to bring more awareness to the issue which has been in the news lately with Eric Holder’s limiting order (which will leave around 86% federal civil seizure unaffected), recent legislative efforts and late night television skits. The event featured a diverse panel consisting of: Darpana Sheth (IJ), Kanya Bennett (ACLU), David Smith (Smith & Zimmerman PLLC) and Bill Piper (Drug Policy Alliance).

02/09/2015

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