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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

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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Blog

Justice Department Restarts Program Used to Take People's Property Without Due Process

The Department of Justice, on Monday, restarted the Equitable Sharing Program, which allows federal law enforcement agencies to coordinate with their state and local counterparts to pursue forfeiture of seized money and property under federal civil asset forfeiture laws. The program, which distributes up to 80 percent of the proceeds from these forfeitures to the state and local law enforcement agencies, was suspended in December because of budget constraints. Payments owed were deferred.

03/31/2016
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Urges Arizona Lawmakers to Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

Following an informational hearing on civil asset forfeiture reform in the Arizona House Government and Higher Education Committee, FreedomWorks Director of Communications Jason Pye commented:

03/24/2016
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Blog

Speaker Ryan Makes Compelling Case for Justice Reform

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) indicated Wednesday that he plans to bring the House Judiciary Committee’s justice reform package to the floor of the lower chamber for a vote. He did not, however, offer a timetable for action, nor did he indicate which specific bills would be part of the package.

03/23/2016
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Blog

Small Businesses in Alaska Support Forfeiture Reform

A civil asset forfeiture reform bill currently working its way through the Alaska House of Representatives has gotten a boost from the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. The organization, which promotes small businesses, see the threat posed by business owners through Alaska's terrible civil asset forfeiture laws.

03/23/2016

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