Accused of a crime? There go your assets.


I had some serious misgivings about Kagan due to her view that New York Times v. Sullivan should be reined in.  (source)  Of course, her views on that are at least debatable.  She just prefers some of the logic in Canada’s Hill v. Church of Scientology, [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1130.  

But in Kaley v. United States, she just wrote an opinion that really makes me want to find the architects of the “war on drugs” and fill their mouths with angry bees.  In our zeal to be “tough on crime,” we sold out the Constitution.  Now the bill is due.  The government’s asset forfeiture laws and overzealous prosecutors mean that if you’re even accused of a crime, you’re screwed.  (Analysis here


4 Responses to Accused of a crime? There go your assets.

  1. Beyond the civil forfeiture issue, I’m shocked at the underlying charge. They were charged with sealing and reselling equipment that was discarded, and, as a co-defendant who was *already acquitted* phrased it, they are alleging fraud without a victim, theft of property with no owner. How is this case even allowed to proceed?

  2. GPK says:

    I was working with a client in Federal prison on the same issue as extant in Kaley. In a companion case the court below gave his co-defendant a much better result. Now, it looks like my client’s case is putting much like shitting in an asshat. I kinda wish the gov-ment would just take their never-ending wars on never-ending, imaginary villians somewhere else.

  3. I am so sick of having to ask the US Attorney for permission to take fees for fear of gettijng indicted in the Southern District. Makes big dollar drug cases no fun……

  4. Now consider how the money from auctioned assets can be used to, say, make purchases of equipment, renovations and so on–which in turn leaves more room in the budget for, say, raises and benefits and such. This kind of conflict of interest can be deeply problematic in lower population areas where federal oversight is scant.

    Yet another reason I hate prohibition.

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