“Improperly used,” Thomas observed, “forfeiture could become more like a roulette wheel employed to raise revenue from innocent but hapless owners whose property is unforeseeably misused, or a tool wielded to punish those who associate with criminals, than a component of a system of justice.”
Has become would be more accurate. Civil forfeiture, and more particularly the “equitable sharing” program, shows how unbalanced power leads to abuse of power. There needs to be independent, skeptical, and timely judicial review of civil forfeiture. That this is generally unavailable is a perversion of justice.
Justice Thomas’s Doubts About Civil Forfeiture http://trib.al/0mFGaS3
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