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It's a tough one because in most cases, I believe, the seized property is not worth enough to warrant a case making it to the Supreme Court.

When they do run into someone with enough gumption and resources to appeal, they immediately drop the charges against the money and return it minus fees, just to prevent the creation of specific precedent against the practice.

That assumes they are working in concert, and it's not a big set of affiliated but largely separate organizations working in their own best interests. I think it's far more likely that it's not cost effective to fight for the police if the person they seized from is motivated, unless really large amounts are at stake, in which case the possibility it was entirely legal is probably somewhat lessened, so the case isn't brought forth.

The symphony plays without a conductor. We're talking about a system that presents a particular set of incentives to parties with particular motivations. They can work perfectly well in concert without resorting to secret cabal meetings. In law enforcement more than most other professions, those who do something different are punished for it. That's all it takes for LEO practice to be trapped in some truly sub-optimal local maxima, such as that under consideration here.

Hanlon's Razor is bullshit, by the way.

I'm not making a case that they aren't incentivized enough to all do roughly the same thing in the normal case, but that there isn't enough disincentive to, as a whole, make sure that they would never allow a case to go forward. The Police chiefs are largely beholden to no-one in this specific case.

That said, it's the prosecutors that would have to keep the case active if disputed, and there's no incentive for them, except for a possible loss in the case where police overreach is proven. That's all the reason needed to not dispute most cases if they go far enough to actually require some work from the prosecutor.

> Hanlon's Razor is bullshit, by the way.

You and I live in different world then. Obviously, some portion of our worlds is entirely in our heads and doesn't conform to reality. I suspect I'm happier in mine than I would be in yours.

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