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InsiderOnline Blog: November 2004

Give Me Back My Stuff!

According to a new Goldwater Institute study:

Arizona law enforcement agencies have used a legal tactic known as civil asset forfeiture to confiscate over $64.5 million of private property since 2000, a new Goldwater Institute report documents.  Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to confiscate property connected to a crime without ever filing criminal charges against the property owner.

The report shows asset forfeitures constitute a sizable percentage of many agency budgets. Statewide, nearly one of every five dollars received from confiscated property—almost $11 million—went directly into the pockets of prosecutors and police in the form of employee compensation.

The report argues that the due process clauses in the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions require law enforcement officials to impartially administer law, but Arizona’s civil forfeiture law threatens that goal.

Posted on 11/15/04 01:15 PM by Mary Katherine Ham

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