Monday, May 12, 2014
Ilya Somin has this post at The Volokh Conspiracy. In part:
The Minnesota reform is an good step in the right direction that other states should copy. But it might be even better to simply ban asset forfeiture completely. Even if a defendant has been convicted of a crime, the appropriate remedy is to punish him for it and – if possible – force him to pay compensation to the victims. But there is no reason to allow the state to enrich itself by seizing property that happened to be somehow used in the commission of the offense, even if it was not illegally obtained and is not needed for victim compensation. If a thief uses his legitimately acquired car to flee the scene of a crime, we should certainly punish him for the theft and force him to compensate the victim for their loss. But that’s no reason to let the police seize the car and sell it for their own profit.