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Articles Tagged with Civil Asset Forfeiture

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Jeffery Epstein, 66, was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10th, 2019 of suspected suicide. Epstein had been accused of sexually abusing multiple women as children and was registered as a Level 3 sex offender in November 2011. 

His death has ended the almost decade-long criminal case against him. Now, his lawyers have cited civil forfeiture as their way of compensating the women he allegedly sexually abused. 

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close-up-document-fountain-pen-48148-300x199On July 24, the state of Arkansas put an end to civil asset forfeiture in almost all cases in Arkansas. The bill, sponsored by State Senator Bart Hester, received a unanimous vote from the Arkansas Legislature and was signed into law in March earlier this year. Now, it has taken effect.

The new law prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from seizing property unless the property owner is convicted of a criminal offense. This law will help to deal with the injustice often found in cases of Civil Asset Forfeiture.

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accounting-blur-budget-128867-300x200According to a record sourced from the Michigan State Police, police seized almost $15 million in property and cash from more than 6,000 individuals in 2018. About $13.4 million of the seized cash went to police budgets, sources allege.

Since 1978, Michigan Police has been using a legal instrument called civil asset forfeiture law that allows them to seize property which has been linked to certain criminal activity. The owner of the seized property does not even need to be guilty or convicted for the law enforcement to take over their valuables.

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guns-2203656_1920-200x300President Trump has signed into a law a bill reforming the use of civil asset forfeiture by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The bill passed both houses of Congress unanimously this year.

The bill was partially inspired by the case of Andrew Clyde. In April 2013, Clyde’s gun shop in Athens, Georgia, was doing amazing business. In response to fear that the Obama administration may limit access to firearms, Clyde’s store, Clyde Armory, was virtually empty.
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pills-3673645_1920-300x180In January 2016, police officers searched Ovide Ned’s car during a traffic stop in Houston, Texas. After they found a bottle of opioid painkillers, police charged Ned, then aged 40, with drug possession. Ned had $955 on his person at the time. Officers seized this money as well.

Once Ned was able to prove he had a valid prescription for the medication, the criminal charges against him were dropped. The money, however, was never returned.

Angela Beavers, the chief civil asset forfeiture prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, said that despite the prescription, Ned was “obviously selling the pills.” She explained that drug dealers would often obtain prescriptions for the meds they were selling from pain clinics.
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