Wednesday, February 28, 2007
From news-journalonline.com: Stetson University CrimProf Robert Batey recently discussed a case where the accused who were apprehended on the NBC show "To Catch a Predator" are now suing the Florida police department for the return of their vehicles from impound.
Seven men are waiting to find out whether or not Judge Raul A. Zambrano will order a return of seven impounded vehicles or award them to police. The total value of the vehicles is more than $38,000, according to forfeiture reports. Police department administrative assistant Donna Kearney said the values were based off of the Kelly Blue Book appraisal guide.
CrimProf Robert Batey said the seizure of property, such as vehicles, is a common practice among law enforcement when conducting investigations such as stings. Defendants who are acquitted are entitled to get their vehicles back, but if convicted, they lose them, Batey said.
"Forfeiture law has been very popular, especially as part of the war on drugs," he said.
Batey said sometimes seized property can be used as a leverage tool during plea bargaining, "but probably not in a case like this." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]