• Jeff Sessions Announces Justice Department Will Increase Asset Forfeiture

    “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime,” Sessions says of law that lets police take cash without charging anyone with a crime.

    C.J. Ciaramella
    Jul. 17, 2017

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department will issue new directives to increase the federal govenment's use of civil asset forfeiture, a controversial practice that allows law enforcement to seize property from suspected criminals without charging them with a crime.

    Speaking at a National District Attorneys Association conference in Minneapolis Monday, Sessions said state and local law enforcement could expect changes from U.S. Attorneys in several areas: increased prosecution of gun crimes, immigration offenses, gang activity, and prescription drug abuse, as well as increased asset seizure by the federal government.

    "[W]e hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture—especially for drug traffickers," Sessions said. "With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners."

    The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment and for more information about the directive.

    more:
    http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/17/se...-department-wi


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    Comments 23 Comments
    1. dannno's Avatar
      dannno -
    1. phill4paul's Avatar
      phill4paul -
      This is 46-D chess to force lawmakers to change the laws. Hopefully.
    1. r3volution 3.0's Avatar
      r3volution 3.0 -
      "No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime,” Sessions
      So return your salary.
    1. Swordsmyth's Avatar
      Swordsmyth -
      “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime”

      CRIMINAL? Without a conviction?
    1. goldenequity's Avatar
      goldenequity -
      'They sound like gangsters' - Lavrov

    1. Feeding the Abscess's Avatar
      Feeding the Abscess -
      Make Asset forfeiture Great Again
    1. TheTexan's Avatar
      TheTexan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
      “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime”

      CRIMINAL? Without a conviction?
      If they're not a criminal, they just need to hire a lawyer, prove they've never done anything illegal, and they'll get their stuff back. Easy peezy.
    1. francisco's Avatar
      francisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
      If they're not a criminal, they just need to hire a lawyer, prove they've never done anything illegal, and they'll get their stuff back. Easy peezy.
      In B4 pretzel logic excuses / explanations from the usual Trumphumper acolytes on this board.

      Trump Administration strikes another blow for Liberty.
    1. tod evans's Avatar
      tod evans -
      Sessions is an evil little gnome who'd do much better encased in concrete standing guard over some driveway...

    1. AZJoe's Avatar
      AZJoe -
      "With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime." ...

      U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department will issue new directives to increase the federal government's use of civil asset forfeiture, a controversial practice that allows law enforcement to seize property from suspected criminals without charging them with a crime.
      No criminal should keep proceeds of their crime, so Sessions wants to take stuff from people not convicted of a crime, not tried for a crime, not even charged with a crime, and without the necessity of any evidence of a crime or proving a crime. Isn't civil asset forfeiture "CAF" wonderful. Just take citizens stuff you want and they must spend tens of thousands of dollars jumping through procedural hoops with short deadlines trying to prove a negative - that they did not commit any crime. Guilty until you run the befuddling maze of disorienting CAF rules and if you successfully navigate the short notices and procedural gauntlet, you must then prove the negative - that you have never committed any crime and your stuff has never been associated with anyone else's crime.

      Yes CAF sounds like the perfect embodiment of a free society, a veritable symbol of all the Bill of Rights itself and everything it represents.
    1. AZJoe's Avatar
      AZJoe -
      From the Rutherford Institute: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/03/...icial-robbery/

      Motorists have been particularly vulnerable to this modern-day form of highway robbery.

      For instance, police stole $201,000 in cash from Lisa Leonard because the money—which Leonard planned to use to buy a house for her son—was being transported on a public highway also used by drug traffickers. Despite the fact that Leonard was innocent of wrongdoing, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the theft on a technicality.

      Police stole $50,000 in cash from Amanee Busbee—which she planned to use to complete the purchase of a restaurant—and threatened to hand her child over to CPS if she resisted. She’s one of the few to win most of her money back in court.

      Police stole $22,000 in cash from Jerome Chennault—which he planned to use as the down payment on a home—simply because a drug dog had alerted police to its presence in his car. After challenging the seizure in court, Chennault eventually succeeded in having most of his money returned, although the state refused to compensate him for his legal and travel expenses.

      Police stole $8,500 in cash and jewelry from Roderick Daniels—which he planned to use to purchase a new car—and threatened him with jail and money-laundering charges if he didn’t sign a waiver forfeiting his property.

      Police stole $6,000 in cash from Jennifer Boatright and Ron Henderson and threatened to turn their young children over to Child Protective Services if they resisted.
      Tenaha, Texas, is a particular hotbed of highway forfeiture activity, so much so that police officer keep pre-signed, pre-notarized documents on hand so they can fill in what property they are seizing. ...

      Police in some jurisdictions have run forfeiture operations that would be difficult to distinguish from criminal shakedowns. Police can pull motorists over, find some amount of cash or other property of value, claim some vague connection to illegal drug activity and then present the motorists with a choice: If they hand over the property, they can be on their way. Otherwise, they face arrest, seizure of property, a drug charge, a probable night in jail, the hassle of multiple return trips to the state or city where they were pulled over, and the cost of hiring a lawyer to fight both the seizure and the criminal charge. It isn’t hard to see why even an innocent motorist would opt to simply hand over the cash and move on. ...

      Any American unwise enough to travel with significant amounts of cash is fair game for the government pickpockets. ...

      the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been colluding with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and local police departments to seize a small fortune in cash from American travelers using the very tools—scanners, spies and surveillance devices—they claimed were necessary to catch terrorists. ... TSA agents already have a reputation for stealing from travelers, but clearly, the government is not concerned about protecting the citizenry from its own wolfish tendencies. ...

      although DEA agents have seized more than $203 million in cash in airports alone since 2006, they almost never make arrests or build criminal cases in connection to the seized cash. ...

      DEA agents at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport stole $11,000 in cash from college student Charles Clarke—his entire life savings, in fact—simply because they claimed his checked suitcase smelled like marijuana. Apart from the sniff test, no drugs or evidence of criminal activity were found.

      Christelle Tillerson was waiting to board a flight from Detroit to Chicago when DEA agents stole $25,000 in cash from her suitcase, money she planned to use to buy a truck. Tillerson was never arrested or charged

      Joseph Rivers was traveling on an Amtrak train from Michigan to Los Angeles when police stole $16,000 in cash in a bank envelope—money the 22-year-old had saved up to produce a music when he arrived in Hollywood—based solely on their groundless suspicions that the money could have been associated with drugs. ...

      Through surveillance of Americans’ domestic travel records, by profiling train and airport passengers, and by relying on a “network of travel-industry informants that extends from ticket counters to back offices.” In one instance, the DEA actually promised to give a TSA security screener a reward for identifying luggage with large sums of cash: the more cash found, the bigger the reward. ...


      First, the government claims it needs more powers and more weapons in order to fight crime and terrorism: the power to spy on Americans’ communications and travel; the ability to carry out virtual and actual strip searches of Americans’ luggage, persons and property; the authority to stop and interrogate travelers for any reason in the name of national security. Then, when government agents have been given enough powers and weapons to transform them into mini-tyrants, they’re unleashed on an unsuspecting citizenry with few resources to be able to defend themselves or protect their property. ...

      For example, the federal government attempted to confiscate Russell Caswell’s family-owned Tewksbury, Massachusetts, motel, insisting that because a small percentage of the motel’s guests had been arrested for drug crimes—15 out of 200,000 visitors in a 14-year span—the motel was a dangerous property. ... This cruel surprise was engineered by Vincent Kelley, a forfeiture specialist at the Drug Enforcement Administration who read about the Motel Caswell in a news report and found that the property, which the Caswells own free and clear, had an assessed value of $1.3 million. So Kelley approached the Tewksbury Police Department with an “equitable sharing” deal: The feds would seize the property and sell it, and the cops would get up to 80 percent of the proceeds. ...

      Gerald and Royetta Ostipow had their Michigan farm and property seized, including a classic muscle car, and then sold by the local sheriff’s office. As USA Today reports: The Ostipows were required to provide a $150,000 cash bond before they could begin the legal proceedings to contest the forfeiture ... But they couldn’t afford to. ... Eventually, an appeals court found that the property was wrongly forfeited. But it was too later to recover the car. With the odometer mysteriously bearing an additional 56,000 miles, police had already sold the car and spent the proceeds. ...



    1. shakey1's Avatar
      shakey1 -
      U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department will issue new directives to increase the federal govenment's use of civil asset forfeiture, a controversial practice that allows law enforcement to seize property from suspected criminals without charging them with a crime.Speaking at a National District Attorneys Association conference in Minneapolis Monday, Sessions said state and local law enforcement could expect changes from U.S. Attorneys in several areas: increased prosecution of gun crimes, immigration offenses, gang activity, and prescription drug abuse, as well as increased asset seizure by the federal government.
      "[W]e hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture—especially for drug traffickers," Sessions said. "With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners."



      The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment and for more information about the directive.
      Asset forfeiture became a prized hammer in law enforcement's tool chest in the 1980s, when the government was struggling to combat organized drug cartels. Law enforcement groups say the laws allow them to disrupt drug trafficking operations by targeting their proceeds—cars, cash, and guns.
      However, the practice has exploded since then, and civil liberties groups and political advocacy organizations, both liberal and conservative, say the perverse profit incentives and lack of due process for property owners lead to far more average citizens having their property seized than cartel bosses.
      Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a consistent Republican advocate for reforming asset forfeiture laws, said in a statement to Reason Monday: "As Justice Thomas has previously said, there are serious constitutional concerns regarding modern civil asset forfeiture practices. The Department has an obligation to consider due process constraints in crafting its civil asset forfeiture policies."
      Another Republican critic of asset forfeiture, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, tweeted Monday that "This policy takes us backward. Congress must step up to protect the property of Americans from a government that keeps stealing from them."
      more... http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/17/se...-department-wi
    1. shakey1's Avatar
      shakey1 -
      oops... Timosman beat me to it... my bad. Moderator may delete.
    1. shakey1's Avatar
      shakey1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
      Sessions is an evil little gnome who'd do much better encased in concrete standing guard over some driveway...

      ... or under a bridge.

    1. Brian4Liberty's Avatar
      Brian4Liberty -
      "[W]e hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture—especially for drug traffickers," Sessions said. "With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners."
      If they take assets before a conviction, that is not care, professionalism or constitutional.
    1. phill4paul's Avatar
      phill4paul -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
      If they take assets before a conviction, that is not care, professionalism or constitutional.
      Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners."
      Hey, you, they're "adopting" these forfeitures! If the parent abandoned these little precious bundles it's only right that they be adopted. Better yet when they are shared among various partners. It takes a village to raise a forfeit.
    1. Working Poor's Avatar
      Working Poor -
      screw Sessions
    1. ChristianAnarchist's Avatar
      ChristianAnarchist -
      Of course they will increase thievery... Is anyone surprised by this?? Goons gonna goon...
    1. Feelgood's Avatar
      Feelgood -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
      If they're not a criminal, they just need to hire a lawyer, prove they've never done anything illegal, and they'll get their stuff back. Easy peezy.
      Not how it works. They don't have to prove they are innocent, the state has to prove they are guilty. Or are you just trolling?


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