Pubdate: Tue, 14 Aug 2012
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2012 The Orange County Register
Author: Gordon Wilson


Public corruption occurs, indeed, when the desire for excessive 
profit and power becomes entangled with governmental functions 
["Steven Greenhut: 'Policing for profit' on the rise," Commentary, Aug. 12].

When "asset forfeiture" (once known as thievery) becomes officially 
sanctioned as a perhaps grotesque but highly effective means of 
keeping police departments humming and flush with profits, then who 
are the real "criminals"? Surely they are not the houses, boats and 
cars that are seized (i.e., stolen) because they (often unbeknownst 
to their owners) contain a marijuana plant or something else equally ludicrous.

I would suspect that many of the genuine criminals lurk instead among 
the very "public servants" of law enforcement, who, relishing their 
new wealth from the abundance of forfeited (i.e., plundered) assets, 
are busy furthering their nest eggs by continuing to warp and distort 
the ideals and principles that once made us great.

Those dedicated officers who are aware of and troubled by the growing 
public contempt for our justice system  and I know some exist  might 
look for causes by re-examining our forfeiture laws. Sadly, there is 
a lot more sewage up ahead, but it might be a good place to start.

Gordon Wilson, LAGUNA NIGUEL
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