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Oklahoma Senator Seeks CAF Reform: Round 2

State Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) seeks to introduce SB 838, the Personal Asset Protection Act, for the upcoming Oklahoma legislative session which begins February 1, 2016. Sen. Loveless originally introduced his bill for civil asset forfeiture reform last year on May 6, 2015, towards the end of the 2015 session. While SB 838 died in committee for 2015, Sen. Loveless used the legislature’s recess period as a time to conduct research and promote discussion regarding the state of civil asset forfeiture in Oklahoma. He strongly believes that abuse through use of civil asset forfeiture "[I]s something that is happening in states across the country, so it would be naïve to believe that it could not happen in Oklahoma."

02/01/2016
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Oklahomans Overwhelmingly Support Legislation to End Civil Asset Forfeiture

Legislation introduced in Oklahoma to require a criminal conviction before property can be forfeited to the government has strong backing from likely voters in the Sooner State, according to a survey released on Thursday. The survey also found strong support for law enforcement in the state. This highlights that support of civil asset forfeiture reform and appreciation for those who protect and survey communities are not mutually exclusive.

09/28/2015
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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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No charges filed in more than a third of Oklahoma civil asset forfeiture cases

The presumption of innocence is a basic principle of the American legal system. Americans are presumed innocent of any allegations of illicit activity until proven guilty by the government in court. But this principle does not apply to civil asset forfeiture in most states, including Oklahoma.

09/02/2015
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Yes, civil asset forfeiture denies innocent people of their right to due process

Oklahoma has some of the worst civil asset forfeiture laws in the country. According to FreedomWorks' state scorecard, Civil Asset Forfeiture: Grading the States, the standard of proof the government needs to subject property allegedly connected to a crime to forfeiture is too low and, in an inversion of justice, the property owner, who may never be charged with a crime, must show that the property was obtained through legal means to get it back. Additionally, a perverse profit motive exists, as Oklahoma law enforcement agencies can keep up to 100 percent of the proceeds from forfeitures.

08/04/2015
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Conservatives and progressives come together to protect innocent Oklahomans property rights

The effort to reform Oklahoma's terrible civil asset forfeiture laws has brought together unlikely bedfellows from the ideologically opposed think tanks. In an op-ed published on Sunday, Terry England, vice president for strategic initiatives at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and Gene Perry, policy director at the Oklahoma Policy Institute, explained the perilous situation that property owners in which innocent Sooner State residents could find themselves under current state law.

08/03/2015
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Here's why Oklahoma should eliminate the perverse profit motive behind civil asset forfeiture

Oklahoma state Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) introduced legislation near the end of the 2015 session hoping that it would begin a conversation about reform of the Sooner State's terrible civil asset forfeiture reform. His legislation, SB 838, the Personal Asset Protection Act, offers significant protections for innocent, law-abiding citizens. It would restore due process by requiring a criminal conviction before property connected with a crime can be seized by the government and would also direct the proceeds from forfeitures to the state's general fund.

07/16/2015
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Mary Fallin should get behind the effort to protect innocent Oklahomans from civil asset forfeiture

During a recent a recent discussion with Oklahoma journalists, Gov. Mary Fallin indicated that reforms were necessary to the Sooner State's awful civil asset forfeiture laws. How far she is willing to go remains to be seen.

06/09/2015