Supporting civil asset forfeiture is not “Law and Order”

According to Reuters,

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday there was “no reason” to curb law enforcement agencies that seize cash, vehicles and other assets of people suspected of crimes, a practice that some lawmakers and activists have criticized for denying legal rights.

Trump is probably further asserting himself as a Law and Order president. But civil asset forfeiture is not a show of Law and Order – it is authoritarianism, and yet another instance of the government being judged on the basis of its intention rather than its actual effect.

The intention of stripping convicting criminals of their assets (preferably with revenu from those seizures finding its way back to the victims of these criminals) is laudable and logical. However, aside from the state being the likely sole benefactor of whatever they take from criminals, most worrying about the whole scheme is the practice of seizing assets of suspects prior to any conviction, and the amount of time and trouble peope have to go through to get their belongings back.

It is, put simply, theft. And a president of the people should not support it.


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