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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

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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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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