To the editor:
When discussing civil forfeiture, legislators echo the refrain that this is a complicated issue and we need the summer to study it. But the issue isn’t really complicated at all.
As currently utilized, civil forfeiture introduces a dangerous profit motive in law enforcement — the lure of which has caused nationwide abuses of property seizures. And lawmakers, many of whom are attorneys and understand the due process issues with civil forfeiture, know it can be used as a scam.
Nonetheless, they are willing remain complicit because they know it’s a revenue machine. They won’t reform civil forfeiture because doing so would cause funding inconveniences.
Think about that — in the face of an obviously abusive law, legislators simply view access to your property as their right.