Rebecca Sue Johnson of Maple Ridge Township faces felony charges for abandoning/cruelty to 25 or more animals, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison. She also faces a misdemeanor charge for running an unregistered animal shelter. Johnson was released from jail after posting a $60,000 surety bond.
The Institute for Justice recently published the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, a document that analyses civil forfeiture policies across the US and gives each state a scorecard based on how favorable its laws are for property owners.
U.S. Attorney Justin Herman confirmed that his office collected $28,603,085 in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year 2020. Of that amount, approximately $21 million was collected from civil actions, and almost $7 million was collected from criminal actions.
In the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, the Institute for Justice takes a look at every state’s civil asset forfeiture laws and the amount of forfeiture proceeds collected since 2000, based on publicly available information.
Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows law enforcement agencies to seize property they suspect is linked to criminal activity, sometimes even without charging the property owner with a crime. It is different from criminal forfeiture, which requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an owner is guilty of a crime and that the property is connected to the case.
A recent report on the state of civil forfeiture in the U.S. has given Pennsylvania a near-failing grade, calling for greater reforms for the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws.
Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that gives law enforcement agencies the ability to seize assets from individuals suspected of committing a crime or being involved in illegal activity, even if the property owner has not been formally charged with wrongdoing.
In December 2020, the Institute for Justice (IJ), a Virginia-based public interest law firm, released the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, a document alleging unwarranted punitive seizures through the civil asset forfeiture process across the country.