People innocent of any crime are having their money and property stolen by law enforcement agencies.
“Massachusetts has some of the worst civil forfeiture laws in the country,” said Robert Everett Johnson, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-policy law firm. “Massachusetts can take your property based on probable cause, which is an extremely low standard of proof.”
The commonwealth is one of only seven states to receive an F rating on its civil-forfeiture laws from another conservative advocacy group, FreedomWorks. The grade is based in part on state law that also allows police and district attorneys to split and keep proceeds of all successful forfeitures.
“When law enforcement can keep the money it takes through civil forfeiture, it creates a powerful incentive,” Johnson said.
Police and prosecutors vehemently disagree with that characterization.
Civil forfeiture is a powerful tool in the war on drugs, they say, designed to help law enforcement deprive drug dealers of the proceeds of their crimes.
You can read the Lowell Sun article to see just how these policies are victimizing the innocent. If you’d rather watch video, John Oliver did a fine job on the issue some time ago.
Massachusetts should be the next state to end this miscarriage of justice.