Tag: civil asset forfeiture

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Gets a Facelift

By Mike Klein Georgia civil forfeiture reform legislation has undergone a cosmetic facelift that might improve its chances for passage but critics are already focused on language which states “an acquittal or dismissal in a criminal proceeding shall not preclude civil forfeiture proceedings.” In effect, you could be found innocent in court but you could still lose your personal property. An HB 1 substitute was published Tuesday afternoon after the first meeting of the House Judiciary committee chaired by Rep. Wendell Willard who is the bill’s primary sponsor.  The new bill makes significant concessions to prosecutors and sheriffs who essentially shut down civil forfeiture reform effort last year with their strong opposition to proposed reforms. Civil forfeiture is the concept… View Article

America’s Longest War: The War on Poverty

  By Benita M. Dodd Fifty years ago this month – on January 8, 1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Considering the money spent on poverty-related programs in the ensuing half century – $16 trillion, according to the Cato Institute – and the percentage of Americans still listed as poor, it’s time to concede defeat, change strategy or redefine poverty. Conceding defeat against poverty is unacceptable, of course. But redefining poverty means building a better safety net, not opening a bigger umbrella, as President Obama is expected to propose in his State of the Union Address this month. He’s expected to dramatize income inequality – the gap between the “rich” and… View Article
Georgia Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Kelly McCutchen wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the June 23, 2013 issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in response to an editorial on civil asset forfeiture in Georgia: Innocent parties lose under current laws “Court of public opinion” (Opinion, June 16) highlights the questionable  spending of forfeiture funds but ignores the larger issue: Innocent property owners are losing their property. Your property can be seized in Georgia even if you have not been convicted or even accused of a crime. Even worse, the burden of proof is on y0u — not on the state — to prove your innocence and you must sue to retrieve your property. Questionable spending… View Article

Friday Facts: February 1, 2013

February 1, 2013  It’s Friday!  February 19: Did you know that Georgia had the nation’s fourth-highest foreclosure rate in 2012? Who’s to blame? Greedy bankers? Corrupt politicians? Ignorant homeowners? Find out at the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19. The Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole keynotes “American Dream, American Nightmare,” an explanation of the forces at play in the housing market in Georgia and in the nation, and how to rebuild the American Dream of homeownership. This event will cost $25 to attend. Find out more at http://tinyurl.com/avnapnh. Register by Friday, February 15, at http://tinyurl.com/7ldaqnkQuotes of Note “If you serve a child a rotten hamburger in America, federal,… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Atlanta resident Josiah Neff is so passionate about civil asset forfeiture reform in Georgia that last year he filed suit. One of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit against law enforcement agencies in Atlanta and Fulton County, the software company employee was outraged that the agencies didn’t even bother to comply with state law requiring them to disclose the private property they seized under suspicion that it was used or involved in criminal activity. Three months later, when the suit went to trial, it took the judge just 30 minutes to rule the agencies out of compliance. But the victory for Neff, who currently heads Atlanta’s Libertarian Party, is hollow for the rest of Georgia: As of… View Article

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