Lee McGrath: Put it this way: The cops own their mistakes

  • Article by: LEE MCGRATH
  • Updated: March 21, 2010 - 4:16 PM

In Minnesota, a suspect's guilt need not be proven for assets to be seized.

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ebfauvelMar. 21, 10 4:35 PM

...write your legislators today. I have already written mine asking for support of Tina Liebling's bill.

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HendrayMar. 21, 1010:43 PM

but here in the United States I must be missing something - I cannot understand how these laws and practices have withstood constitutional challenges. I know, I know, there is "procedural" due process wherein the accused can get their money or property back if they are acquitted, or otherwise prevail on their claim. But there is a "justice delayed" quality that is difficult to ignore, not to mention the expenses involved. Since money appears to be as much a factor here as enhanced law enforcement, how about a "loser pays" type rule, where litigation costs can be recovered, at least in egregious cases? If reasonable reform is not enacted, we the people need to act. Lord knows we've seen a lot of sketchy constitutional challenges by some pretty shady characters, but this forfeiture cause is one I can get behind.

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bikemilesMar. 22, 10 3:12 AM

I recently read that the average non-mortgage debt for Americans is $40,000. Obviously, being debt free provides more flexibility, a better standard of living and a lesser chance of becoming a ward of the state. In my case, I bought my last new vehicle for $13,000 in 2005. It has under 25K miles on it. As I understand it a cop or prosecutor can get an impound lot report on the mileage and potentially look up loan liens (or lack thereof). Basically, the lien has first rights to be paid so if I had the same vehicle with a loan and a typical 75K miles on it it would have minimal forfeiture value versus $6,000 to $8,000 it has low mileage and loan/lien free. .....Something to ponder!

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mplsblondeMar. 22, 1012:17 PM

Excellent article.

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tcglawMar. 22, 1011:04 PM

Does the State of Minnesota have any moral superiority over a thief? Are it's police more than its gang? If so, then these laws allowing police to act as judge, jury, and forfeiture executioner must be repealed. No property should ever be taken with a hearing beofre a judge first!

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