Civil forfeiture turns cops into robbers


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Protip: If a prosecutor, cop, judge, or anybody in the legal system tells you “This is a routine matter, you don’t need a lawyer.” stop right there and get your lawyer.

That’s the first line they give everybody who is about to be railroaded.


Jesus, that’s what they did in the Pennsylvania Kids for Cash Scandal! If anyone ever told me that, I’d s**t myself.


The New Yorker had an article by Sarah Stillman in August of 2013 on this topic. It was probably the best thing I read in the NYer that entire year. Here it is.

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We’ve been following this issue since the mid 1980s, as former Hill staff, involved with drug legislation at Fed and State level. Jurisdictions around the country are awash with funds and so they buy “toys” that Army Generals would envy. It’s gone on far too long. When will the public wake up to the horrendous job cops are doing. They’re not heroes like soldiers and even firefighters. They daily abuse their authority, and combined with armies of prosecutors paid from CF money but bolstered by the law putting them in a more powerful position than ever (and reducing judges’ powers), they wreak havoc on our Bill of Rights daily. The black community has carried this burden overwhelmingly, but hopefully articles and books will cause people to realize that everyone’s rights are in jeopardy. I was a jury foreman recently and we were all careful to question the testimony of the cops and the prosecutors, even going so far as to wonder why this case had even been brought to trial. (We found the black woman not guilty – insufficient evidence).


Just the government ignoring the clearly-worded intent of the Constitution (in this case, 4th Amendment). Nothing new here. The 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 10th Amendments are favorites for being ignored.

Maybe, in order to save time and space, BoingBoing should just post in those cases where the government and justice actually works.


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