Are Civil Forfeiture Laws Being Enforced As Intended?

Sep 11, 2015

Critics say federal seizure laws turn "innocent until proven guilty" into "guilty until proven innocent."

Civil forfeiture laws allow police to seize and keep property without making an arrest or filing charges. Then it is up to the individual to prove his or her innocence and attempt to reclaim the seized property. Designed to help fight drug trafficking, many now say the practice is routinely abused, and turns the justice system on its head.

Joining us to discuss civil forfeiture are attorney Kathy Brinkman, former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and now with the law firm Porter Wright; and James Pilcher, reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer. He wrote a feature story on civil forfeitures, you can read his story, "Federal seizure program that benefits cops called ‘legal robbery’" in this Sunday's print edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer or online at cincinnati.com.