Forfeiting Our Property Rights: Is Your Property Safe from Seizure?

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Cato Institute, 1995 - Law - 100 pages
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In Forfeiting Our Property Rights, Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois examines the abuse inherent in civil forfeiture, the law that lets government take property that is merely suspected of having been used in a crime. Hyde, one of Congress's leading conservatives and the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, shows how forfeiture law has cost innocent people their property and at least one citizen, Donald Scott, his life. In fact, over a quarter of a million Americans have had their property seized through forfeiture law. Although it has most often been used against suspected drug dealers, Hyde emphasizes that the war on drugs must not be used as a pretext for weakening the traditional protections of our property rights. Congressman Hyde proposes an overhaul of the law to protect innocent property owners, including a shift in burden of proof from the citizen to the government and a raising of the standard the government must satisfy to seize property in the first place.
 

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Contents

1 The Crisis of Asset Forfeiture
5
2 How We Got into This Mess
17
3 The Problem with the Police
29
4 What Must Be Done
55
5 Forfeiture ReformReal and Proposed
71
Notes
85
Index
97
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