Pubdate: Sun, 14 Sep 2014
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2014 The Washington Post Company
Author: Lynn Streett
Page: A20


The behavior described in the "Stop and seize" series [front page, 
Sept. 7-9] resembles an extortionist fishing expedition based on the 
"hunch" of police officers. These hunches (along with details that 
infringe on motorists' privacy) are then entered into a database with 
only loose oversight.

These forfeitures upend a basic tenet of our judicial system: 
innocent until proven guilty. The government, which has vast 
resources, money and influence at its disposal, is charged with 
proving the guilt of those charged with crimes rather than asking an 
individual with considerably less power and resources to prove his innocence.

One is left with the impression that local, state and federal 
agencies that pocket the seized money rely on the fact that few will 
pursue the issue. I hope that Congress and the public will make 
certain this practice is brought to an end.

Lynn Streett, Springfield
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