U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatens to make himself one of the biggest threats to your liberty.*
President Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General just promised to encourage police departments to seize the personal property (cars, houses, cash) of criminal suspects.
The practice is called asset forfeiture. It comes in two forms, criminal and civil. Compelling objections have been raised against civil forfeiture, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of all forfeitures. Abuse is rampant in cities, counties and states around the country, routinely used against people who have not even been charged, much less prosecuted and convicted. (Often not really even suspected of criminality.)
“No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime,” he told conference attendees in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Monday.** But how can our top federal law enforcement officer ignore the profound difference between a suspect and a criminal?
No one is a criminal, before the law, until proved in court. Taking away property to make it harder for suspects to defend themselves — which is what RICO laws and other Drug War reforms intended to do — is obviously contrary to the letter of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments as well as the spirit of the U.S. Constitution.
Sessions announced he’ll soon offer a “new directive on asset forfeiture — especially for drug traffickers.” Unless he clearly indicates that it will only be used against the property of persons legally convicted of crimes, Sessions will be merely making charges of an “American Police State” stick.
America’s top lawman argues completely contrary to American principles of justice.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
** Sessions also went on to say that “sharing with our partners” — local police departments around the nation — is a good thing. This is, systemically, the most dangerous aspect of it all, for it encourages police departments to take things for their own benefit.