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Blog

FreedomWorks Activists Educate Virginia State Senator on Civil Asset Forfeiture

Monday, October 19 was an interesting day for justice reform in Virginia! I was pleased to gather with activists from the Southwest Virginia Tea Party at the Shoney's in Bristol, Virginia to talk about justice reform. We then traveled to the county courthouse for a GOP meeting where their state senator, Bill Carrico was going to address questions asked in the letters he has been receiving about civil asset forfeiture. On October 8, we had gathered to write letters to Senator Carrico.

10/20/2015
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84% of Pennsylvania Voters Support Forfeiture Reform

The main principle behind civil asset forfeiture reform legislation introduced in both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly is widely embraced by voters in the Commonwealth, according to a survey released on Thursday. The legislation would require a criminal conviction before property can be forfeited to the state. Currently, a property owner does not even have to be charged with a crime before their property can subject to forfeiture.

10/16/2015
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Civil Forfeiture Reform Bills Pass Unanimously in Michigan Senate

On Wednesday, Michigan’s state Senate unanimously approved legislation consisting of seven reform bills aimed at raising the evidentiary standard of proof from a “preponderance of evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence,” and requiring police to better document the acquisition of seized property.

10/08/2015
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Michigan Voters Overwhelmingly Support Changes to Forfeiture Laws

In 1988, John Bennis was convicted of indecency in the state of Michigan for engaging with a prostitute in his car. He was fined a mere $250 for the incident, but his car was seized through a civil court order under a public nuisance claim. Bennis’s wife, Tina Bennis, was also a legal owner of the vehicle, but despite her shared interest in the car, the state denied her rights as partial owner.

10/02/2015
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90 Percent of Ohio Voters Believe a Conviction Should Be Required to Take Property

Ohio may soon become one of the leading states on civil asset forfeiture reform. On Tuesday, state Rep. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) introduced HB 347, which would protect innocent property owners by requiring a criminal conviction before seized items can be forfeited to the government. FreedomWorks supports this legislation and plans to mobilize our community to take action to help move it through the Ohio Legislature.

09/30/2015
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71% of Americans Believe Property Shouldn't Be Taken Without a Conviction

A recent survey conducted by YouGov shows an overwhelming percentage of Americans believe the government should be able to seize cash or property only if the owner is convicted of a crime. The results of the survey are the latest to show that Americans believe reforms are necessary to reform the justice system, some of which are detailed in a FreedomWorks' publication, A Look Inside Justice Reform Polling.

09/24/2015
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Arizona attorney general calls for reforms to curtail abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich believes the state legislature should consider civil asset forfeiture reform in the 2016 session, which begins in January. He did not offer specific ideas for reform, but he acknowledged that the state's current forfeiture laws can be abused and wants to bring interested parties, including reformers and law enforcement, together to discuss what can be done.

09/11/2015
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California Assembly succumbs to misinformation and bullying from opponents of civil asset forfeiture reform

The California Assembly killed legislation on Thursday that would have addressed a concerning loophole in state civil asset forfeiture law. The loophole allows state and local law enforcement to circumvent protections for innocent property owners in California's forfeiture laws by pursuing seized property under the federal government's terrible forfeiture laws.

09/10/2015
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Find out why this Congressman called civil asset forfeiture "legal robbery" and "completely unconstitutional"

The federal government's civil asset forfeiture laws have been the target of well-deserved and long overdue criticism from conservatives, libertarians, and even progressives. As FreedomWorks recently noted in From High Seas to Highway Robbery, federal civil asset forfeiture laws, throw the presumption of innocence, a cornerstone of the American legal system out the window.

09/10/2015
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Elderly Oklahoma couple experienced government overreach first-hand in a botched raid

In March 2012, Linda Goss was in her residence at 238 Navajo Place in Mannford, Oklahoma, a small town located about 25 miles west of Tulsa, waiting for her husband, Donald, to return from a fishing trip, when deputies from the Creek County Sheriff's Department raided their home. Deputies were executing a search obtained by Deputy Scott Forrester. The only problem is, deputies raided the wrong home, beginning a nightmare for the Gosses in which they were wrongly detained and their property was seized on false premises.

09/09/2015

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