Jeff Sessions Announces Plans To INCREASE Asset Forfeiture, Despite Widespread Opposition

The Federalist Papers – by 

Continuing the immoral, unethical (and probably unconstitutional) practice of “asset forfeiture” by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is bad enough.

Now President Trump’s top lawman said he plans to increase the practice, which involves law enforcement seizing the personal property from suspected criminals without them having ever being charged with a crime.  

At a conference in Minneapolis, Sessions said that local law enforcement could expect some dramatic changes in the way U.S. Attorneys operate: There will be increased prosecution of gun crimes (good), stepping up monitoring of gang activity (great), increased investigation of prescription drug abuse (also good) and increased asset seizure by the feds (very bad).

“[W]e hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture—especially for drug traffickers,” Sessions said, Reason Magazine reported. “With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.”

Asset forfeiture became popular in the 1980s, when gangs and drug cartels ruled America’s streets. Law enforcement were able to not only arrest the offenders, bud disrupt their entire operation by seizing their cars, guns, and any cash they have had.

Since then, Reason Magazine reports, the practice has gone haywire. Local law enforcement now rely on the money seized to pay for essential services like weapons, cars and uniforms. Between 1989 and 2010, the US Attorney’s offices seized almost $13 billion in property. And that number has accelerated to more than $1 billion per year.

Owners of the property have to go through a long, costly, and cumbersome process of even beginning to get their seized assets returned. Essentially, unlike habeas corpus, it’s up to the citizen to prove their assets werenot used in the commission of a crime or were ill-begotten gains.

Darpana Sheth, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning public interest law firm, called Sessions’ announcement “a disheartening setback in the fight to protect Americans’ private property rights” in a statement Monday.

“Ordinary Americans see that civil forfeiture is unconstitutional, and 24 states have taken steps to roll back civil forfeiture laws,” Sheth continued. “The Attorney General’s plan to increase forfeitures is jarringly out of step with those positive developments.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a consistent Republican advocate for reforming asset forfeiture laws, said in a statement to Reason Monday: “As Justice Thomas has previously said, there are serious constitutional concerns regarding modern civil asset forfeiture practices. The Department has an obligation to consider due process constraints in crafting its civil asset forfeiture policies.”

Lee was referring to conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ notable dissent in an asset forfeiture case this June. Thomas wrote that forfeiture operations “frequently target the poor and other groups least able to defend their interests in forfeiture proceedings.”

How bad is it? In 2014, the U.S. Government seized more money and property from Americans than common burglars did.

Many Republicans are not fans of this move – and are making their voices heard. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan tweeted Monday that “This policy takes us backward. Congress must step up to protect the property of Americans from a government that keeps stealing from them.”

The Federalist Papers

9 thoughts on “Jeff Sessions Announces Plans To INCREASE Asset Forfeiture, Despite Widespread Opposition

  1. *** At a conference in Minneapolis, Sessions said that local law enforcement could expect some dramatic changes in the way U.S. Attorneys operate: There will be increased prosecution of gun crimes (good), stepping up monitoring of gang activity (great), increased investigation of prescription drug abuse (also good) and increased asset seizure by the feds (very bad). ***

    With the possible exception of monitoring gang activity, ALL of those things are bad.

    What right does the government have to monitor prescription drug abuse? With the arguable exception of antibiotics (due to resistance concerns), drugs shouldn’t even require prescriptions in the first place!

    Also, what sort of “gun crimes” are we talking about here? The only true gun crimes are those that involve violence against the innocent.

  2. “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.”

    Then fork over the trillions you criminals have stolen!!!!!!!

    Everyone of you are pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Jeff sessions…
    This guy is the dinosaur of human evolution.
    Next he’ll be legitimizing burning witches at the stake.
    Fkng moRon.

    Please God just kill him.

    Or at least make him and John McCain have a bum fight on pay per view for our entertainment.

  4. No, this is not lawful. There is no authority granted to do this. There never was this power so expanding it is unlawful too. C’mon Trump and Pence, get with the program. Use your powers granted by the people only within the limits of our true constitution. You MUST adhere to the law, and seizure of private property is not only outside your powers, but it was guarded against by our forefathers in their Bill of Rights. There is no authority granted for our employees to rule themselves owners of any property, even under any corporations established for that purpose. Back off Pence, you have no lawful right to take possession of any sovereigns property. That would be crossing the line, and we will not allow it under any pretence.
    If you want to reduce drugs and drug crimes, and if you want to offer suffering people an alternative to addictive drugs, then you must turn your focus on the multimillion dollar pharmaceutical companies that donate billions to all political parties to ensure their unblocked access to the American public- not to mention shutting down all the avenues through which hard drugs Enter. There is no excuse for this draconian idea of yours, to seize property from the most vulnerable, most marginalized, and those targeted for just that purpose – to seize their assets – for what possible purpose??? Personal profit??? Your sons and daughters deserve much better from you Mr. Pence. if you don’t understand these simple facts, you really should resign your post to someone who does. Convict the criminals within the circles of government who’s purpose is to steal from the people –
    their land, their homes, their labor. And give back, rather than criminalizing, our god given rights.
    Then you will earn our respect and maybe our vote of confidence to represent us again.
    As of now, Mr. Pence, you are not targeting the real criminals and we are not willing to believe in you for much longer. Do it or step aside.

  5. If sessions is this immoral out front, what kind of evil son of a bitch is he in the dark?

    1. And.you ain’t taking my shit without a gunfight. It’s not the stuff.it’s the principle.

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