[ExI] cart before horse

Anton Sherwood bronto at pobox.com
Fri Sep 17 01:08:44 UTC 2021

On 2021-9-16 12:59, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat wrote:
> Why isn't that law unconstitutional?  It assumes that a person is guilty 
> of drug dealing with no proof but the money.  bill w

In forfeiture, the property itself is charged as a party to crime; the 
owner is irrelevant.  If the case gets to court, it is called something 
like _Govt v. Approximately $45,881 in Currency_.  This is a civil suit, 
so the standard is "preponderance of the evidence" rather than "beyond a 
reasonable doubt"; and the property has no Sixth Amendment rights.

Summary: https://ij.org/issues/private-property/civil-forfeiture/
Many stories: https://reason.com/tag/civil-asset-forfeiture/

The notion that property can itself be guilty was originally applied to 
things like a bull that got loose and gored someone.  At first the bull 
would be killed (perhaps hanged), but it's so much more efficient to 
forfeit him to the Crown instead!

Lately many States have banned or restricted forfeiture, or require that 
the loot go to the state's general fund rather than to the agency that 
seized it.  Police in those states get around the ban by bringing in the 
feds, who do the forfeiture and kick some back; this practice is called 
"equitable sharing".

*\\*  Anton Sherwood  *\\*  www.bendwavy.org

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