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In principle that's true...

In reality 1. You can be shot by a cop even if you do not pose a real threat (they just need to claim they though you might have a gun, simple) 2. People are routinely kept in jail for unreasonably long time because their families cannot afford bail often on things charges are dropped for later 3. Ever hear of civil forfeiture?

The whole thing is a nice story that we love to repeat to each other. Maybe it was easier to accept that during the cold war when the other guys were worse and news traveled slowly (or didn't). It's pretty apparently that isn't true given the quick news cycle... and opening any US history book.

Sometimes I wish I could myself become a corporation. Seams it's much easier to exercise your rights as a corporation.




>Ever hear of civil forfeiture?

Yes, a process in which the government has to prove to the same standard of evidence as someone suing you. That is due process.


The difference being that the government confiscates the property while the case makes its way through court.

In practice this is a huge difference.


> Yes, a process in which the government has to prove to the same standard of evidence as someone suing you.

That's not quite true. They don't make a claim against _you_. They make a claim against the property.

So, it's the same level of evidence and adversarial hearings as someone suing $1,000. This is not due process. It's a farce.


They have to convince a jury that the property in question is the proceeds of a crime.


That's not true in all cases, which is one of the problems people have with civil asset forfeiture.


That is civil asset forfeiture.


Not all states guarantee a jury trial for civil asset forfeiture.

And federal civil asset forfeiture almost always starts out as administrative forfeiture which doesn't involve the judiciary at all.

When the feds seize an asset the owner has 60 days to file a claim. If no claim is filed the government keeps the asset.

If a claim is filed, the government can either pursue civil or criminal forfeiture. In the case of civil forfeiture there is a right to a trial by jury.

However, as I said previously this isn't automatic. The person has to either have the legal knowledge to know how to file a claim, or they need a lawyer. In the majority of cases no claim is filed in many cases because the legal fees necessary to recover the asset will be greater than the value of the asset.

Basically if the government sizes a few grand in cash, it will cost you too much to recover it to make it worth it.

In states like Tennessee, police can seize your cash and you have to sue to get it back. They automatically get to keep the assets unless you sue them. They don't need to convince a jury of anything unless you sue them.

This is not the same thing as a person suing you and then using a replevin action to force you to give up your property. This is like if a person broke into your house, took your TV, and then you were forced to initiate a lawsuit to get it back. Plus you couldn't recover legal fees, it was significantly more complicated and costly than small claims court, and the thief suffered no consequences beyond returning the TV even if they lost the case.

Even Clarence Thomas, the most conservative member of the the Supreme Court, indicated in recent statement that he believes the current way civil asset forfeiture is practiced is unconstitutional.


Due process has been somewhat lacking in practice. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/us/politics/justice-depar...




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