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Nebraska Eliminates Civil Asset Forfeiture

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 14:17
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Good news for those in Nebraska. The state has completely eliminated civil asset forfeiture. RedState Article

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a bill on Tuesday that eliminates civil forfeiture, which allows law enforcement to seize and keep property without filing charges or securing criminal convictions. The bill, LB 1106, passed the unicameral legislature last week by a vote of 38 to 8.

The newly signed law provides sweeping reforms. First and foremost, Nebraska now requires a criminal conviction to forfeit property. The accused must be convicted of an offense involving illegal drugs, child pornography or illegal gambling to lose their cash, vehicles, firearms or real estate.

Civil asset forfeiture has a long history of abuse. In Nebraska, for example, a Pastor lost $14,000 at a traffic stop (later recovered with help from the ACLU), and an Air Force veteran lost $63,000 in savings after losing an appeal despite never being charged with a crime. The article cites also the example of Florida Sheriff Joe Vogel whose Deputies were notorious for seizing cash from people along Interstate 95 in the 1990’s. They took nearly $6.5 million in cash and only filed charges in 25% of those cases.

The only other states that have banned this awful practice are North Carolina and New Mexico. With the addition of Nebraska, I hope that this becomes a movement reaching all 57 50 states.

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