Sessions Turns Asset Forfeiture Spigot Back On

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  Sessions Turns Asset Forfeiture Spigot Back On

Posted by CN Staff on July 19, 2017 at 12:53:09 PT
By Christopher Ingraham 
Source: Washington Post 

Washington, D.C. -- The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it will be restarting a federal asset forfeiture program that had been shut down by the previous administration.Known as "adoptive forfeiture," the program -- which gives police departments greater leeway to seize property of those suspected of a crime, even if they're never charged with or convicted of one -- was a significant source of revenue for local law enforcement. In the 12 months before Attorney General Eric Holder shut down the program in 2015, state and local authorities took in $65 million that they shared with federal agencies, according to an analysis of federal data by the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm that represents forfeiture defendants.
While adoptive forfeitures amount to just a small percentage of the annual multi-billion dollar forfeiture haul, they've come under harsh criticism for allowing local authorities to sidestep state guidelines and instead take cash and property under much more permissive federal rules.The Justice Department announced some modest safeguards to prevent abuse of the program, including new guidelines about when law enforcement officials can make seizures valued at less than $10,000, and how quickly property owners need to be notified of seizures.According to the Institute for Justice, 13 states have passed laws requiring prosecutors to obtain a criminal conviction before authorities can permanently seize an individual's property. Under federal law, however, authorities can take cash, vehicles, homes and any other property and keep it for themselves, without ever charging the suspect with a crime.Under federal guidelines, the state and local agencies making adoptive seizures are entitled to up to 80 percent of the proceeds, while federal agencies would receive at least a 20 percent cut. The median value of those seizures was about $9,000, not exactly indicative of major drug trafficking operations.Some of the seizures were as low as a few hundred dollars, including $107 taken by Kanakee, Ill., authorities on March 12, 2014. That money was turned over to the DEA, which is entitled to keep $21.40 of it, with the remaining $85.60 to be returned to Kanakee police.These numbers comport with numerous other investigations that have found that forfeiture efforts tend to target poor neighborhoods. Between 2012 and 2017, for instance, the median value of assets seized by Cook County police was just over $1,000. A 2015 ACLU analysis of cash forfeitures in Philadelphia turned up a median value of $192.The small dollar values often at stake undercut forfeiture defenders' claims that the practice is necessary to disrupt major criminal organizations. A 2015 Institute for Justice report found that between 1997 and 2013, 87 percent of the Department of Justice's forfeitures did not require any criminal charge or conviction.But the adoptive forfeiture program came under particularly intense criticism because it allowed state and local police to sidestep state-level forfeiture reforms using a sleight of paperwork. The Justice Department's 2015 policy change effectively eliminated the adoption program -- adoptions dropped from $65 million the prior year to just $15,000 in the following 12 months, according to the Institute for Justice's analysis.But the changes announced today turn that cash spigot back on. Since the 2015 policy change, many more states have implemented forfeiture reforms making it harder to seize cash and property. That means that more law enforcement agencies now have the incentive to sidestep those reforms via the reinstated adoptive forfeiture process.Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center. Source: Washington Post (DC)Author:  Christopher IngrahamPublished: July 19, 2017Copyright: 2017 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Justice Archives 

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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 25, 2017 at 11:37:41 PT
I have a friend who lost his 2 year old son to this very aggressive cancer. They just said McCain is going to vote yes today on the repeal and replace of Obamacare. It will hurt so many people. My friend and nephew must have Obamacare to live. The world seems all turned upside down.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 25, 2017 at 11:34:14 PT
Thank you!
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on July 20, 2017 at 08:53:00 PT
John McCain
I was really sad to hear the news. Glioblastoma is a really bad deal. I feel very bad for him and his family.It's really kind of you, FoM and Garry Minor, to want to make sure he knows about the possibilities that cannabis could help.I found this very encouraging article and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who does believe that cannabis has medicinal qualities, has been speaking to his doctors. Also this article says they already surgically removed the thing. So... it could go better for McCain than it has for some other people struck with the horrible stuff.Sen. John McCain has brain cancer, aggressive tumor surgically removed
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Comment #5 posted by Garry Minor on July 20, 2017 at 06:12:37 PT:
FoM #3
I checked out his Facebook page and it didn't appear that he'd done anything on it since 2010!So, I used his Senate contact form.GW Pharma's Cannabis-Derived Drug Shows Promise in Brain Cancer StudyThe company’s announcement elaborated that the THC and CBD components appeared to act through distinct signaling pathways in a manner similar to what was seen in preclinical animal models of glioma.
“Moreover, the cannabinoid medicine was generally well tolerated. These promising results are of particular interest as the pharmacology of the THC: CBD product appears to be distinct from existing oncology medications and may offer a unique and possibly synergistic option for future glioma treatment,” continued Short.
The Kelly Hauf Story: How she Beat Brain Cancer Naturally with Cannabis Oil - www.CureYourOwnCancer.org writes;The evidence is rapidly stacking up on the healing properties of the Marijuana plant. I’m excited for the future of Medical Marijuana and I feel a strong responsibility to spread this information. I hear so many misconceptions about this amazing medicinal plant that I feel a need to tell my story to anyone who is interested and my prayer is that it will be received with an open mind and a compassionate heart.Many Blessings to All-KellyIt really is so sad, .......... all of needless suffering and death that has resulted with the demonization and censorship of Cannabis over the years!2000, Dr. Manuel Guzman of Complutense University in Madrid Spain rediscovered that Cannabinoids destroy deadly brain cancer, ..... all cancer! study by Manuel Guzmán of Madrid Spain found that cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals. They do so by modulating key cell-signalling pathways, thereby inducing direct growth arrest and death of tumor cells, as well as by inhibiting the growth of blood vessels that supply the tumor.The Guzman study is very important according to Dr. Ethan Russo , a neurologist and world authority on medical cannabis: "Cancer occurs because cells become immortalized; they fail to heed normal signals to turn off growth. A normal function of remodelling in the body requires that cells die on cue. This is called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. That process fails to work in tumors. THC promotes its reappearance so that gliomas, leukemias, melanomas and other cell types will in fact heed the signals, stop dividing, and die.""But, that is not all," explains Dr. Russo: "The other way that tumors grow is by ensuring that they are nourished: they send out signals to promote angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. Cannabinoids turn off these signals as well. It is truly incredible, and elegant.",Garry MinorColumbus Indiana
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Comment #4 posted by BGreen on July 19, 2017 at 18:27:53 PT
Sessions might be going home to AL with a banjo ..
Rachel Maddow thinks Session might be resigning after Trump skewered him in a NY Times article.I've said it all along that this administration will self-destruct and all we need to do is relax and keep doing what we've been doing.This Bud is for all of you.The Reverent Bud Green
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 19, 2017 at 17:34:30 PT

Senator McCain's Brain Tumor
I really like Senator McCain and I am so sorry he has a gioblastoma and I wondered if I or we should post this link and other info on his Facebook page.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on July 19, 2017 at 14:52:27 PT

Unjust Laws
Seizure and forfeiture laws like these are unjust. "An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.“ - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail“.Actually, the makers of unjust laws are already grievously cursed by no less than the prophet Isaiah, himself. Sad.Isaiah 10 (AKJV)Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees,
and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;
2 to turn aside the needy from judgment,
and to take away the right from the poor of my people,
that widows may be their prey,
and that they may rob the fatherless!
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on July 19, 2017 at 13:13:43 PT

Nightmare administration 
These guys are all about the money. 
Impeachment is a start, but may not be enough. 
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