Non-Profit Group Says VA Forfeiture Laws Are Bogus | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

    Non-Profit Group Says VA Forfeiture Laws Are Bogus

    Play associated audio

    By Jonathan Wilson

    An Arlington-based non-profit says the laws allowing police to seize private property from suspected criminals are being abused and says police and prosecutors in Virginia are prime culprits.

    Scott Bullock with the Institute for Justice, says the laws give prosecutors the upper hand even when they haven't made a criminal case.

    "People don't know how to fight this, they don't have the resources to hire a lawyer, so then the government keeps the truck, keeps the currency, and then they are allowed to use this for their own benefit," says Bullock.

    Bullock says the Institute for Justice is considering legal challenges to civil forfeiture laws in several states, and says Virginia is among those with the most abuse.

    But Arlington County's Commonwealth attorney, Richard Trodden, says there's nothing wrong with seizing ill-gotten gains and turning them into a public resource.

    "This is for buying a computer, buying a squad car-things that are protecting the public. Yeah, there is an incentive, and were proud of it," says Trodden.

    Trodden also says owners of seized property have every opportunity to assert their innocence in court.

    NPR

    Mary Ellen Mark And The Caged Prostitutes Of Mumbai

    The photographer, who died this week, turned her lens on the marginal people of the world. One of her most acclaimed projects was her series of photos taken in the brothels of Mumbai.
    NPR

    Trickster Journalist Explains Why He Duped The Media On Chocolate Study

    John Bohannon, the man behind a stunt that bamboozled many news organizations into publishing junk science on dieting, talks to NPR's Robert Siegel about why he carried out the scheme.
    NPR

    Martin O'Malley Set To Join The 2016 Race

    The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor enters the Democratic race for president Saturday. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Juana Summers about how O'Malley will approach the campaign.
    NPR

    Tech Giants Compete ... For Your Vacation Albums

    With ballgames, family reunions and trips to the beach, summer is full of chances to snap photos. Apple and Google are in a battle to help you store, organize and share all those visual mementos.

    Leave a Comment

    Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.