Profile image
By Freedomworks (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Support the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act, S. 642 and H.R. 1555

Thursday, March 16, 2017 5:25
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and representatives and ask them to cosponsor the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act, S. 642 and H.R. 1555, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.). The FAIR Act would reform federal civil asset forfeiture laws to increase the evidentiary standard needed to subject property to permanent seizure and restore the presumption of innocent in federal civil forfeiture proceedings.

For far too long, federal civil asset forfeiture laws have been used to seize property merely suspected of a connection to illicit activity. Often, the property owner is not arrested for or charged with a crime, let alone convicted. The burden of proof falls on the property owner, not the government, throwing the presumption of innocence out of the window.

Seizing state and local law enforcement agencies can, through the Department of Justice’s Equitable Sharing Program, receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the seized property. This program creates a perverse profit motive to seize property and subject it to forfeiture under an incredibly low evidentiary standard, currently “a preponderance of the evidence,” which amounts to a coin flip on the proof the government presents for its claim against the property.

The Washington Post’s 2014 “Stop and Seize” series highlighted several stories of innocent people whose property was seized and subject to forfeiture through federal forfeiture laws. The Post reported that criminal charges were not filed in 81 percent of cases involving the Equitable Sharing Program.

The FAIR Act reforms federal forfeiture laws to increase the evidentiary standard to “clear and convincing evidence,” the highest standard in civil cases, and restores the presumption of innocents, placing the burden of proof on the government, where it belongs. The bill would eliminate the Department of Justice’s Equitable Sharing Program and send proceeds from forfeitures to the Treasury’s general fund, removing the perverse profit motive to seize property and subject it forfeiture.

The rights to private property and due process are among our most basic constitutional protections. The federal government should not be allowed to permanently seize property without presenting clear and convincing evidence that the property is actually connected to illicit activity.

Too many innocent Americans have been negatively impacted by civil asset forfeiture. It’s time for Congress to step up and rein in the egregious use of this practice. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your senators and representatives and ask them to cosponsor the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act, S. 642 and H.R. 1555.

Sincerely,

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks



Source: http://www.freedomworks.org/content/support-fifth-amendment-integrity-restoration-fair-act-s-642-and-hr-1555

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories
 

Featured

 

Top Global

 

Top Alternative

 

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.