Pubdate: Thu, 04 Apr 2002
Source: Gazette, The (CO)
Copyright: 2002 The Gazette
Author: Robert Wiley
Bookmark: (Asset Forfeiture)


Change Is Needed To Safeguard Rights

In the April 2 Gazette report, "Revising seizure law too risky," our 
local law enforcement officials presented the case that they are not 
involved in the abuses the new forfeiture law would correct. If this 
is true, they should fully support the proposed measures.

Why do they object to getting a criminal conviction prior to seizing 
a person's property?

Currently the law does not even require the owner to be charged with 
a crime. The charges are brought against the property itself, not the 

Why not have trials in front of a jury instead of just a judge? A 
requirement for clear and convincing evidence of criminal activity 
would also be appropriate.

Why do they object to the seized property going to help fund 
substance abuse treatment and prevention programs? Perhaps treatment 
programs would be more effective in reducing drug-related crime than 
our current policies.

Besides, with more treatment programs, we should not have so many 
methamphetamine labs to deal with.

If El Paso County law enforcement agencies were already doing all of 
this, they would fully support changing the law to make it official. 
Our police should never be accused of seizing property to fund their 
operations. Let's help to make that a fact by law.

Robert Wiley Colorado Springs
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