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Justice For All - Feb 2015

Justice For All - Feb 2015

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Blog

Law enforcement funding should come from Pennsylvania lawmakers, not from the property of innocent people

Pennsylvania has one of the worst civil asset forfeiture laws in the country, in the country, but a recently introduced reform proposal would protect innocent people from this form of government overreach. Prosecutors in the Commonwealth are, however, aggressively trying to defend the pernicious practice, which is often used to go after property of law-abiding citizens.

07/10/2015
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Blog

Carrying cash is not a crime: DEA stole nearly $44,000 from a law-abiding entrepreneur

Vu Do, the owner of two nail salons in New York City, was traveling through John F. Kennedy International Airport in February on his way to California with nearly $44,000 in cash he had saved over a period of 20 years. He intended to loan the money to his two brothers who fell on tough times. Similar to the story of Charles Clarke, as Do was about to board his flight, a DEA agent, according to TechDirt, seized the cash under the suspicion that it was connected to illicit drug activity.

07/08/2015
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Blog

Cost-savings should be a priority in any Senate justice reform deal

Several Senate Judiciary Committee members are working on compromise legislation that would combine elements of a prison and reentry reform bill, the CORRECTIONS Act, and a sentencing reform bill, the Smarter Sentencing Act. The committee acted on prison and sentencing reforms, separately, in the last Congress, but neither proposal made it to the Senate floor for a vote.

07/07/2015
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Blog

New Mexico's new protections for innocent property owners should not be weakened

In its most recent session, the New Mexico Legislature passed a comprehensive bill aimed at protecting innocent property owners from government overreach. Prior to the passage of HB 560, the Land of Enchantment lacked significant protections for innocent property owners, which earned the state a "D+" from the Institute for Justice.

07/06/2015
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Blog

Savings from prison reforms in Texas top $3 billion, crimes rates hit lowest point since 1968

"By being more intelligent about who you send to prison, being more selective in that, and putting resources into drug treatment, mental health treatment, and things that keep people out of prison, you can lower your costs and make the streets safer," Pat Nolan, Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform, told FreedomWorks of the groundbreaking justice reforms implemented in Texas in a recent video. The reforms, dubbed the "Texas model," have become a blueprint for other, mostly Republican, states to cut prison costs and reprioritize spending or reduce the burden of taxpayers.

07/06/2015
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Blog

Lawmakers take note: Americans believe a criminal conviction should be required before the government takes someone's property

Civil asset forfeiture is becoming a hot topic in the media. New stories of abuse, where innocent people's property and/or cash is seized by overzealous law enforcement, come out on a regular basis. FreedomWorks has highlighted several of these stories, including Joseph Rivers and Charles Clarke, both of whom lost their life savings of $16,000 and $11,000, respectively, through civil asset forfeiture.

07/02/2015
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Blog

Abuse of federal law allowed the government to steal this college student's life savings

Charles Clarke, after a long trip to visit relatives in Cincinnati between late 2013 and early 2014, was preparing to board a flight back to his home in Orlando when he was approached by local law enforcement working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). They claimed a ticket agent said his checked bag smelled like marijuana and began asking him about his travel plans because he had purchased a one-way ticket. They also asked whether he was carrying any cash.

07/01/2015
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Reforms to protect innocent property owners from government overreach awaiting action in the Michigan Senate

In February, just after the start of the 2015 legislative session, Michigan House Republicans rolled out their action plan for the year. Among the issues included in the action plan was reform of the Wolverine State's civil asset forfeiture laws to promote transparency, accountability, and protect innocent people whose property may be wrongly seized by overzealous law enforcement.

06/30/2015
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Blog

Civil Asset Forfeiture: This is Pernicious Stuff, and FreedomWorks is Working to Change It

Jason Pye, Director of Justice Reform, represented FreedomWorks at a panel discussion called "Civil Asset Forfeiture: Undue Process and Overdue Reforms" on June 26 at Americans for Tax Reform in Washington, D.C.

06/29/2015
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FreedomWorks supports efforts in Pennsylvania to protect private property and restore due process

This afternoon, Pennsylvania state Rep. Jim Cox (R-Sinking Spring) introduced HB 508, a bill that would offer protections for innocent property owners and restore due process in the Commonwealth. FreedomWorks strongly supports HB 508 and its companion bill in the Senate, SB 869, which was introduced earlier in June.

06/23/2015

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