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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

Time is running out to protect innocent Virginia property owners from civil asset forfeiture

On Wednesday, the Virginia General Assembly will meet in Richmond for its annual veto session, in which lawmakers will weigh nearly 70 pieces of legislation vetoed or amended by the Governor. Among the bills that will be considered is SB 721, to which an amendment has been offered to require a criminal conviction before the government can take property believed to be used in an illicit activity.

04/15/2015
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Blog

Mandatory Minimums: A 20th Century Solution to a 21st Century Problem (Part 1)

The punishment should fit the crime. A simple maxim that is no longer always followed in this country. For too long many nonviolent criminals have had sentences imposed on them from Washington, overriding the presiding judge's assessment of the facts. When punishments are mandated from afar, the punishment will not always fit the crime. It is time to get big government out of the courtroom and restore the judiciary's role as outlined in the Constitution.

04/13/2015
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Blog

Chuck Grassley takes aim at the federal government's terrible civil asset forfeiture laws

Carole Hinders is an Iowa restauranteur who, in 2013, made several bank deposits under $10,000. She thought she was doing everyone a favor by keeping her transactions under $10,000, but this harmless activity caught the attention of the Internal Revenue Service.

04/13/2015
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Blog

It's a historic day for private property rights in New Mexico, but more work is ahead to restore the Fifth Amendment

As the second hand ticked closer to noon, the statutory deadline to take action on measures passed by the New Mexico Legislature, Gov. Susana Martinez signed a comprehensive bill to protect the property of innocent individuals by ending civil asset forfeiture in the Land of Enchantment.

04/10/2015
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Blog

Thank You, Governor Martinez!

A few hours ago, Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico signed groundbreaking legislation to strengthen the protection of individual rights in her state. The bill, H.B. 560, requires a criminal conviction in order for law enforcement to be able to use civil asset forfeiture to seize private property.

04/10/2015
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Blog

Florida, Maryland are the latest states looking to protect property through civil asset forfeiture reform

The tsunami of state-level civil asset forfeiture reforms continues to build as the Florida and Maryland legislatures are considering bills that would take small steps toward protecting innocent people's property from government overreach. The state legislatures that have passed or are considering civil asset forfeiture reforms include Georgia, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia.

04/10/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Congress Must Step Up and Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

“I did not serve three combat tours in Iraq only to come home and be extorted,” Andrew Clyde, a US Navy veteran, told an oddly united House Ways and Means subcommittee in a February hearing.

04/09/2015
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Blog

Why won't Virginia's top Republican stand with principled conservatives like Rand Paul and Mike Lee?

While some Republicans on the national level -- such as Rand Paul and Mike Lee -- are working diligently to reform the nation's civil asset forfeiture laws, Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) has failed to protect innocent people and their property from this pernicious form of government overreach.

04/08/2015
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Blog

Unlikely alliance in Virginia could lead to strong reforms to protect property

Members of the Virginia General Assembly will have a second chance to limit civil asset forfeiture when they reconvene in Richmond on Wednesday, April 15, rekindling a "weird alliance" that features the Commonwealth's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Tea Party groups.

04/07/2015
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Blog

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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