State Senator Konni Burton filed a bill last month which requires a felony conviction before law enforcement can gobble up someone’s property. It’s a major step in Texas’ fight for justice reform which has saved the state $3B (while crime rates are at record lows).
Civil asset forfeiture is a bit of a sticky wicket at times, because there are “tough on crime” groups fighting hard against it. The Federalist Society published a pro-asset forfeiture piece by then-federal prosecutor Stefan Cassella in 1997. Cassella called asset forfeiture very important because “federal law enforcement can employ [it] against all manner of criminal and criminals organizations.”
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Forfeiture is also used to abate nuisances and to take the instrumentalities of crime out of circulation. For example, if drug dealers are using a “crack house” to sell drugs to children as they pass by on the way to school, the building is a danger to the health and safety of the neighborhood.