(From The Wall Street Journal)
This kind of abuse has united reformers on all sides of the political debate: progressives, conservatives, independents, even a few former drug warriors. Since 2014 nearly 20 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws limiting asset forfeiture or increasing transparency. Nearly 20 other states are considering similar legislation. Last week a reform bill passed the Indiana Senate 40-10. It would require a criminal conviction before a court can declare a person’s assets forfeited.
Another good step for state and federal legislators would be to bar agencies from keeping the money they seize. Today more than 40 states and the federal government permit law-enforcement agencies to retain anywhere from 45% to 100% of forfeiture proceeds. As a result, forfeiture has practically become an industry.