The Educational, Entertaining, and Sad Truth About Civil Forfeiture
HBO’s hit show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, has always enjoyed success with moderate political humor, but when they stepped out and tackled the important topic of civil asset forfeiture, the buzz started rolling in.
Few people are aware that the law enforcement agencies around the United States have the ability to seize the property of people based upon the assumption of intent to commit a crime. That’s not the legal wording, but it’s the essence of what the laws state surrounding the act.
Basically, if the police believe that you are carrying something, for example large sums of money, with the intention of using it to commit a crime, they can confiscate the goods. You don’t need to commit a crime. You don’t need to be prosecuted. In fact, they don’t even need evidence.
If that’s not enough to get your blood boiling, consider that in many areas, there are no limitations on how the money can be used. The show points out an instance where the money was used to buy a margarita machine for the department.
I don’t want to spoil any more of this “juicy” topic. Let’s hear it from the show itself: