The money grab has been underway for quite some time. Michigan has proven to be a free-for-all, with police literally just taking cars, cash and items of value with impunity. Like a bunch of looters during a riot, there has been little to stop these criminals. Prosecutors support these thugs because they get a cut of the proceeds. And older judges who have sat on the bench for decades have an automatic, knee-jerk reaction to believe the police and prosecutors. "Why would police and prosecutors target innocent people," one judge remarked incrediously, "when they have all sorts of guilty people that they could go after."
It's simple, your honor. Because innocent people have money too.
A newly introduced bill would put a screeching halt to this nonsense. House Bill 5212, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, would prohibit civil asset forfeiture in Michigan unless a person is convicted of a crime. According to Mackinac Center for Public Policy:
Rep. Irwin said forfeiture, which is a way for the government to seize or confiscate assets, has 'spun out of control.' 'Asset forfeiture was sold as a needed tool for law enforcement to attack drug kingpins and gang leaders," Rep. Irwin said. '[But] too often, law enforcement uses the current asset forfeiture law to take tens of millions of dollars every year, mostly from low-level users and small-time dealers. We need to change how asset forfeiture works. By requiring a person be convicted of a crime before their seized property is subject to forfeiture, we will stop the worst abuses and curtail the insidious incentives that lead some law enforcement to short circuit due process and the fundamental principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty.'
Forfeiture cases in Michigan have gotten completely out of control. Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor, is going to no doubt actively oppose this bill while she carps about how much money the county is supposed to allocate to her office.
You can read the entire story here.