Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been called on to curb law enforcement’s ability to confiscate money from those who have not committed a crime, the Washington Examiner reports.
"We encourage the Department of Justice to revise its civil asset forfeiture practices to reflect our nation's commitment to the rule of law and due process," wrote the senators, including Republicans Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Mike Crapo of Idaho. As well as New Mexico Democrats Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall and Maine independent Angus King.
"You need not wait for Supreme Court censure before reforming these practices, and, in any event, the Department of Justice should err on the side of protecting constitutional rights," they added.
According to USA Today, 15 states are considering legislation that would end civil asset forfeiture.
"Research has shown that the financial incentives baked into civil forfeiture laws influence law enforcement behavior," Dr. Dick M. Carpenter II, director of strategic research for the libertarian public-interest law firm Institute of Justice, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "When laws make taking property relatively easy and lucrative for law enforcement, it should be no surprise to see agencies take advantage."
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