CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

"When Is a Civil Forfeiture Based on Drug Offenses Excessive? Always."

Jacob Sullum has this piece at Reason (via NACDL's news-of-interest):

The Indiana Supreme Court yesterday concluded that civil forfeiture of a Land Rover "worth at least $35,000" that was used to sell small amounts of heroin violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of "excessive fines." As Reason's Billy Binion noted, the decision suggests a promising new avenue for constitutional challenges to civil forfeiture of allegedly crime-tainted property. But the court's analysis in Indiana v. Timbs also shows how subjective the question of proportionality can be in such cases and the extent to which that judgment depends on dubious assertions rooted in the morally bankrupt logic of drug prohibition.

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