U.S.: ACLU, DPA To Present Capitol Hill Briefing On Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
Speakers Include Civil Rights Leaders, Former Reagan-Era Administrator of Forfeiture Fund, Victim of Recent Drug Enforcement Administration Asset Seizure
Briefing Highlights Need for Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
A Capitol Hill briefing on federal civil asset forfeiture reform will be presented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Thursday, June 4, from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., in Room 188 of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
WHEN: Thursday, June 4, 2015
10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Brad Cates, Director, Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Office (1985-1989)
Wade Henderson, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Joseph Rivers, Victim of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Seizure
Hilary Shelton, NAACP
Darpana Sheth, Institute for Justice
Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker
Under civil asset forfeiture, a property owner does not have to be found guilty of a crime – or even charged with a crime – to lose his cash, car, home or other property. Civil asset forfeiture, unlike criminal asset forfeiture, allows law enforcement agencies to seize and keep property they merely believe is connected to criminal activity.
This questionable practice generates billions of dollars annually for law enforcement at federal, state, and local levels. Last year, the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund took in over $4 billion in assets. The profit incentives driving civil asset forfeiture have earned it the nickname “policing for profit.”
Bipartisan legislation known as the FAIR Act has been introduced in both houses of Congress that would dramatically reform federal civil asset forfeiture laws, and federal policymakers in both parties are now considering civil asset forfeiture reforms. Panelists will discuss what Congress can do to stop this unjust and unfair practice.
Graphic: Granite Grok