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Asset Forfeiture

Chronicle AM -- July 25, 2014

Asset Forfeiture (STDW) - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 20:47

Wichita looks set to vote on decriminalization this fall, Rand Paul (busy, busy) files a federal asset forfeiture reform bill, drug users finally get a voice at the International AIDS Conference, and more. Let's get to it:

Marijuana Policy

Wichita Decriminalization Initiative Campaign Turns in Twice the Necessary Signatures. Organizers of a decriminalization initiative signature-gathering campaign yesterday turned in 5,800 signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot. Kansas for Change needs 2,928 valid voter signatures to qualify. They turned in the signatures at 4:20pm.

Five People Ticketed for Marijuana Possession in First Week of DC Decriminalization Law. DC police have cited five people for marijuana possession in the week since the DC decrim law went into effect. Four of the five citations came in predominantly black areas of the city east of the Anacostia River. Last year, before decrim, police made about 11 marijuana possession arrests a day.

Poll: California Latinos Strongly Oppose Deportation for Marijuana Possession. A new poll from Latino Decisions and Presente.org finds that nearly two-thirds (64%) of California Latinos strongly oppose deporting non-citizens for marijuana possession. Marijuana possession is the fourth most common criminal offense leading to deportation, according to a 2012-2013 study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

Asset Forfeiture

Rand Paul Files Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a bill to reform federal asset forfeiture laws. Yesterday, he introduced the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime. The FAIR Act would also require that state law enforcement agencies abide by state law when seizing property. It would also remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures assets from the Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury's General Fund.

International

Drug Users Get a Voice at Global AIDS Conference. For the first time, a group of drug users has been allowed space at the International AIDS Conference, taking place this year in Melbourne, Australia. The International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) had a booth at the conference and also held a movie premiere event at the conference for the film, "We are Drug Users."

British National Survey Finds Slight Overall Increase in Drug Use. The number of drug users in Britain increased by 0.7% last year, according to the 2013 to 2014 Crime Survey for England and Wales. Some 8.8% of adults used drugs in the past year; 6.6% used marijuana. Cocaine was the second most commonly used drug, at 2.4%.

Guatemalan President Still Mulling Marijuana Legalization. President Otto Pérez Molina said in an interview in Washington yesterday that he hadn't ruled out the possibility of legalizing marijuana. "Right now we have a commission that's following what's been happening in Uruguay, Portugal, Holland, Colorado, and the state of Washington," he said. "I expect to receive the studies, analysis and recommendations at the end of the year and from there we will make the decisions that would best fit our country." Pérez Molina will be hosting an international conference on drug policy in Guatemala in September.

WOLA Releases Analysis of Ecuador Drug Policy Trends and Contradictions. The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) has published "Reforma y contradicciones en la politica de drogas de Ecuador." The report identified advances and blockages in Ecuador's path to a more progressive drug policy. Click on the link to read it in Spanish or use your translate button or wait a few days for WOLA's English version to read it in English.

Categories: Asset Forfeiture

Rand Paul Files Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill

Asset Forfeiture (STDW) - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 18:56

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a bill to reform federal asset forfeiture laws. Yesterday, he introduced the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]It also takes aim at state and local law enforcement agencies who evade state laws requiring that seized assets go into state general funds or other specified destinations by instead turning their seizures over to a federal agency, which delivers back 80% of the value of the seized goods to the local or state law enforcement agency involved.

The FAIR Act would require that state law enforcement agencies abide by state law when seizing property. It would also remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures' assets from the Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury's General Fund.

"The federal government has made it far too easy for government agencies to take and profit from the property of those who have not been convicted of a crime. The FAIR Act will ensure that government agencies no longer profit from taking the property of U.S. citizens without due process, while maintaining the ability of courts to order the surrender of proceeds of crime," Sen. Paul said.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. As of today, it has no cosponsors.

Categories: Asset Forfeiture

CN BC: Concerns Mount Over `Cruel And Unfair' Civil Forfeiture Process

Asset Forfeiture (MAP) - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 05 Jul 2014 - When the first offer from B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture Office came in, suggesting Robert Murray could keep 20 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of his property if he gave the office the other 80 per cent, he believed the government agency was shaking him down. Mr. Murray's property near the southeastern B.C. community of Nelson had been searched by RCMP in February, 2012. He says the search, which turned up dozens of marijuana plants, violated his Charter rights because police did not have a warrant. Mr. Murray maintains he only grew for personal use. "I just didn't think what was happening was right," he recalls.
Categories: Asset Forfeiture

US PA: Column: Revisiting Civil Forfeiture

Asset Forfeiture (MAP) - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 Jun 2014 - A Woman Who Lost Her Home Appeals, Saying She's Punished for Son's Crime. At once tidy and stalwart, but pockmarked, too, with its share of boarded-up homes, Elizabeth Young's neighborhood in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia is the epitome of urban grit.
Categories: Asset Forfeiture

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Asset Forfeiture (STDW) - Wed, 06/11/2014 - 06:54

A Tennessee police chief gets caught misbehaving, so does a strung out Pennsylvania deputy, and a San Diego husband and wife cop team go down for dealing. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]In Graysville, Tennessee, the Graysville police chief was arrested last Monday on charges he was improperly disposing of seized vehicles and dipping into seized cash. Police Chief Jason Erik Redden is accused of either taking for himself or returning to the original owner three of the vehicles, and is also being held responsible for $4,128 in missing seized cash and fees paid to the department. He is charged with seven counts of misconduct in office, two counts of theft over $1,000, and one count of theft under $500.

In Washington, Pennsylvania, a Washington County sheriff's deputy was arrested last Wednesday after he sold the opiate maintenance drug suboxone to an undercover informant. Deputy Matthew Miller, 29, became former Deputy Miller the same day when the sheriff fired him after his arrest. Miller allegedly told the informant he was strung out on heroin and was selling the pills to get money.

In San Diego, a husband and wife pair of San Diego police officers were arrested last Thursday on multiple drug charges amid an investigation into corruption in the department. Officer Bryce Charpentier is charged with possessing and transporting drugs, possessing a loaded firearm while under the influence, and conspiracy. His wife, Officer Jennifer Charpentier is charged with possessing, transporting, and selling drugs, and conspiracy. They have both been put on administrative leave.

Categories: Asset Forfeiture

CN MB: OPED: Raise The Bar For Forfeiture

Asset Forfeiture (MAP) - Sat, 05/24/2014 - 07:00
Winnipeg Sun, 24 May 2014 - Manitoba should follow the example of Minnesota when it comes to civil forfeiture reform. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently signed into law a new policy stating the state government can only confiscate property if it obtains a criminal conviction or its equivalent, including a guilty plea. The bill also shifts the onus of proof onto the government to justify forfeiture.
Categories: Asset Forfeiture
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