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Justice For All - Feb 2015

Justice For All - Feb 2015

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Blog

In Delaware Legislature, Bill Introduced to Dramatically Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture

Across the nation, more and more states are coming around to fix the injustices and intrusions on liberty committed through civil asset forfeiture. Just this month, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Nebraska have all taken steps to change their own asset forfeiture proceedings. Recently, a bill was introduced in the Delaware State Senate that may just make the First State the next state to adopt asset forfeiture reform.

04/18/2016
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Op-ed Placement

Wisconsinites Are Calling on Lawmakers to Support Justice Reform

BY Adam Brandon and Chris Ahmuth

As Wisconsin residents begin to engage in this election, Republicans and Democrats are split on many pressing issues — like how to handle the economy, what education policies to pursue, or what national security policies will keep us safe. But there’s one issue many voters are united on: criminal justice reform.

04/16/2016
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Blog

Nebraska Asset Forfeiture Reform Passes through Legislature, Headed to the Governor’s Desk

The people of Nebraska have spoken, and they are calling for a change in the state’s asset forfeiture laws. Earlier this week, LB 1106 passed through the state’s unicameral legislature with a vote of 38 to 8, with 3 abstentions. The bill is now heading to the Governor Pete Ricketts' desk, waiting for a signature to become law.

04/15/2016
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Blog

Stop Over-criminalizing and Over-federalizing Criminal Law

It’s that time again. Another day, another we-need-to-add-multiple-amendments-before-reauthorizing-a-bill moment. Currently, the Senate is moving to pass the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 (S.2658), which would grant the FAA funding through September 2017. During this process, however, senators like Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) have taken the opportunity to squeeze in additional measures by way of amendments as they rush the bill to the floor.

04/14/2016
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Blog

Spotlighting Mississippi’s Successful Justice Reform Measures

The justice reform movement is a truly unique issue, touted as the only genuine point of bipartisan consensus in a sea of political conflict. While advocates continue their work to promote changes in the federal system, the focus has been shifted to the state level, where incarceration rates are actually higher. It is in this precise area of focus where we find conservative states leading the way with significant change and garnering positive results.

04/11/2016
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Blog

New Hampshire Bill Pursuing Asset Forfeiture Reform, Protecting Innocent Citizens

In the Granite State, numerous citizens have faced infringements on their rights because of civil asset forfeiture abuse. Just as many other states have realized that asset forfeiture is being used as a tool to take away hard-earned cash and other such property from innocent citizens, New Hampshire must pursue change in the state’s policing laws. Fortunately, one such bill is making its way through the legislature to do just that.

04/08/2016
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Op-ed Placement

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

After a months-long trip to visit extended family in Cincinnati, Charles Clarke was approached by local law enforcement while preparing to board a flight home to Orlando. A tip from a ticket agent, who claimed that Clarke’s bag smelled like marijuana, had spurred the encounter.

04/07/2016
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Blog

Virginia Takes a Step in the Right Direction to Protect Private Property

Private property rights protections are a little stronger today in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Friday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation that increases the evidentiary standard in civil asset forfeiture cases. Though a lot of work remains to reform Virginia's civil asset forfeiture laws, action on this bill is a step in the right direction.

04/07/2016
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Blog

Justice Reform Legislation on the Move in Oklahoma

Three bills that would overhaul Oklahoma's sentencing policies and another offering more drug treatment programs are moving toward a final vote in the state Senate. The bills, which have already cleared the state House of Representatives are part of the latest effort to overhaul Oklahoma's criminal justice system to make it more efficient, reduce recidivism, and enhance public safety.

04/06/2016
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Blog

Florida Governor Signs Forfeiture Reform into Law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation that requires law enforcement to make an arrest before seizing property believed to be connected to a crime and increases the evidentiary standard the government needs to permanently keep seized property. The bill also offers procedural reforms, such as a $1,000 filing fee and $1,500 that the government needs to pay before beginning forfeiture proceedings against seized property. The bond would be payable to the property owner if the government fails to produce evidence that the property is connected to illicit activity.

04/05/2016

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