Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm based in Virginia, has published a new video explaining how civil asset forfeiture corrupts the criminal justice system and incentivizes unconstitutional treatment by law enforcement. Check it out:
In a July Research & Commentary, Heartland Institute senior policy analyst Matthew Glans says civil asset forfeiture violates the concept of due process.
“Owners of seized property are essentially guilty until proven innocent: to recover their property, they must prove the property was not used in criminal activity,” Glans writes. “Unless an owner actively works to recover his or her property, it will be lost. Property owners are often given very little opportunity to challenge the seizures. When given the opportunity, the process is expensive for those whose property is seized, as they must pay for attorneys and legal fees to prove their innocence. In many instances, property owners must meet with prosecutors, not a judge or jury, to get back their property.”