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Justice For All - Feb 2015

Justice For All - Feb 2015

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Criminal Justice Abuse

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Blog

The window to protect private property in New Mexico is rapidly closing

It has been nearly two weeks since the New Mexico Legislature unanimously passed a strong, bipartisan bill to protect private property from overzealous law enforcement by banning civil asset forfeiture, and Gov. Susana Martinez has not given any indication as to whether she'll sign the legislation into law.

04/02/2015
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Blog

More Progress on Asset Forfeiture

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder apparently wants to leave behind a legacy of something other than corruption and scandal. In a recent memorandum, he’s making an effort to rein in one of the most egregious abuses of power by the IRS: civil asset forfeiture.

04/01/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Get big government out of the courtroom: It’s time for justice reform

Democrats and Republicans in Washington may continue to swing away at each other over ObamaCare, the budget, and other policy priorities, but an opportunity has emerged to actually get something important done that is long overdue. Criminal justice reform.

03/31/2015
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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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Blog

New Mexico's governor eerily silent on civil asset forfeiture reform bill

Last weekend, in the final hours of its session for the year, the New Mexico Legislature unanimously passed a sweeping bill, HB 560, that effectively bans the practice of civil asset forfeiture, an egregious tool used by law enforcement in many instances to seize assets from innocent people without ever charging them with -- let alone convicting them of -- a crime.

03/27/2015
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Blog

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

New Mexico passes a sweeping bill to protect innocent people's property from civil asset forfeiture

The New Mexico Legislature passed a sweeping civil asset forfeiture reform bill last week to protect innocent people's property and due process rights. The bill, HB 560, effectively bans the pernicious practice, requiring a criminal conviction before property can be forfeited to the state.

03/23/2015
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Blog

Obama’s Private Army: Militarizing the Federal Agencies

Currently there are 73 federal agencies that have full-time armed officers with arresting authority. According to a 2008 report by the Department of Justice, there were 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers working for federal agencies and 24 different federal agencies employed at least 250 full-time officers. Federal agencies with at least 250 full-time officers included the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Mint, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Veterans Health Administration.

03/20/2015
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Blog

Justice for All: FreedomWorks' 5 Principles for a Better Justice System

The American justice system is collapsing under its own weight. Big government policies passed by Congress have led to a justice system that traps nonviolent offenders in an endless cycle. This deprives them of economic opportunities and costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. The Internal Revenue Service and law enforcement agencies at all levels of government have run roughshod over private property rights and due process through abuse of civil asset forfeiture.

03/20/2015
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Blog

Wait, the government can take YOUR property without convicting you of a crime?

Civil asset forfeiture laws allow the government to seize private property, even when citizens’ haven't been charged with a crime. These laws are a glaring violation of our 5th Amendment right to property and due process. In these cases, law enforcement must only provide probable cause in order to seize property, which, in practice, includes even the most dubious pieces of evidence.

03/19/2015

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