Pubdate: Sat, 07 May 2016
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Orange County Register
Author: Paul Ireland


Let me thank the Register for the update on Senate Bill 443, to rein 
in the blatant legal theft from private citizens by law enforcement 
agencies participating in asset forfeiture programs. SB443 would have 
required a criminal conviction (rather than simply probable cause) 
prior to seizure of assets by law enforcement.

The need for reform is so obvious, and the misuse of the program is 
so egregious that one has to wonder if the Assembly members who voted 
against it even thought about what they were doing or were simply 
responding to the lobbying efforts of the California police chiefs 
and district attorneys associations to defeat the legislation. Defeat 
it so that they could use the funds for extra "stuff."

The irony here, if we can find one, is that those opposing this 
desperately needed legislation are those who we elect and appoint to 
help maintain an orderly society and one built on fairness, certainty 
and equity. Forfeiture of ill-gotten gains? Certainly. But let's make 
sure it is done right and that we can continue to have reasons to 
have faith in our institutions.

This legislation desperately needs to be brought back. When it is 
brought back, I hope that we make sure our Assembly members 
understand the rights of citizens are more important than the dollars 
it puts in law enforcement's goodies jar.

Paul Ireland

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom