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Articles Tagged with Kansas

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There have been many cases of controversial searches and seizures in Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, which is one of the longest railways in the United States, located between Chicago and Los Angeles. The cases started with that of Richard Mckenzie back in 2008 when Mckenzie boarded Southwest Chief from Flagstaff, Arizona.

The nature of these seizures has been called into question, as reports have shown that most of these searches are based on hunches rather than evidence. It is not clear whether anyone who has been searched or had property under suspicious circumstances has acquired legal representation for civil asset forfeiture.

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The Kansas Highway Patrol took over $15,000 in cash from Barbara Reese in 1995. For the last 23 years, she has fought to have her money returned. The latest attempt to resolve her situation—a bipartisan measure in the state legislature to compensate her—has been vetoed by the governor.

Back in 1995, Reese was working as an auto dealer. She was driving through Wyandotte County in order to buy vehicles. In the trunk was a suitcase containing her dealer’s license and the $15,000 cash. She was carrying an additional $2,000 with her in the car.
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In Kansas, Governor Jeff Coyler has signed a bill into law imposing strict reporting requirements on law enforcement in cases of civil asset forfeiture. The changes bring transparency to the state’s forfeiture procedures and may lead to further reforms.

In a statement, Coyler said the new law, “will allow us to better protect Kansans’ property rights while also ensuring law enforcement have the tools they need to be effective.”

State Rep. Gail Finney (D–Wichita), who spearheaded the state’s reform, says the law represents a good first step but that more far-reaching changes will be needed. Continue reading

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