Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TRUMP'S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE WOULD APPROVE. Whatever happened to proving crimes in court?
Illinois law enforcement confiscated more than $319 million in property and cash from individuals over the past decade, using a system that does not require convictions — or even charges in some cases — to validate the forfeitures, according to a new study.

In a joint report issued by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and the Illinois Policy Institute, researchers detail the financial incentives for police departments and local prosecutors to seize personal property from the public. In Illinois, law enforcement agencies receive about $30 million in forfeited property each year, the study found.

"Asset forfeiture in Illinois has become policing for profit," said Ben Ruddell, criminal justice policy attorney with the ACLU and the report's co-author. "Without meaningful reform that ensures transparency, this system will continue to take millions of dollars in property from people without true justice."

Under state and federal laws, law enforcement agencies can take cash, land, vehicles and other property they suspect are involved in illegal activity. The laws do not require that the owner be charged with a crime — let alone convicted — in order for their property to be permanently confiscated.

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