Asset Forfeiture

I.J. Analysis Confirms Modest Impact of Holder's Forfeiture Reform

The changes may affect about a quarter of equitable sharing forfeitures and less than a tenth of proceeds.


Institute for Justice

After Attorney General Eric Holder announced changes to the Justice Department's forfeiture policies last month, I noted that the impact would be pretty modest, since his directive left the DOJ's Equitable Sharing Program mostly untouched and addressed only a small share of the assets seized under federal law. A new analysis from the Institute for Justice confirms this point, finding that Holder's reform, which is limited to cases classified as "adoptions," would have affected less than one-tenth of the forfeiture money that states received through equitable sharing from 2008 through 2013. During that period, adoptions accounted for about a quarter of the assets seized under the program, which lets police evade state limits on forfeiture.

Institute for Justice

Adoptions represented an even smaller share of all DOJ forfeitures: about 3 percent of proceeds and 10 percent of assets. I.J. found that civil forfeiture, which does not require that the owner be charged, let alone convicted, accounted for 78 percent of the confiscated assets.

"The Attorney General's policy change was a welcome first step toward addressing the vast injustices perpetuated by the federal civil forfeiture system, but it is clear from the Department of Justice's own data that much remains to be done," says Scott Bullock, an I.J. senior attorney. "The Justice Department must take further steps to curtail civil forfeiture, and Congress must pass strong reform legislation. Only then will Americans' property and due process rights be restored."

Two House subcommittees are holding hearings on forfeiture reform tomorrow. You can read the testimony that I.J. attorneys plan to give here and here.

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20 responses to “I.J. Analysis Confirms Modest Impact of Holder's Forfeiture Reform

  1. Meanwhile, Washington State moves to increase police forfeiture powers.

    OLYMPIA ? Tim Heffer believes so strongly that sex trafficking is tantamount to slavery that he compares the cars and trucks owned by people buying sex to slave ships.

    Heffer, executive director of the Olympia-based Justice and Mercy Foundation, told state lawmakers as much when he testified in support of HB 1558, which would allow law enforcement to seize the cars and money of people arrested for soliciting a prostitute, even if they are never convicted.…..esxml.html

    What’s confusing to me is that HB 1558 is sponsored entirely by Democrats. Why would Democrats be trying to eliminate due process? This does not compute. Hopefully Shrike will show up and teenSplain it to me.

    1. While intended to discourage sex trafficking, a bill proposed in the Legislature would invite abusive “policing for profit,” opponents say, and direct only 10 percent of the seized assets toward efforts to prevent prostitution.

      Gosh oh golly, I did not see that one coming at all.

    2. Sounds legit to me and not at all hyperbolic. No possibility of unintended consequences. Way to bring us Justice AND Mercy, Tim!

    3. If there’s any legitimacy to the absurd “war on women” trope, surely this rises to the occasion.

    4. “Hopefully Shrike will show up and teenSplain it to me.”
      Along with how shutting oil drilling in the ANWR is really increasing drilling! And stuff.

  2. And, once again, the reflexive cynicism/paranoia of the commentariat is borne out.

    Because we were all saying immediately that this was just another press release, there were loopholes everywhere, and we had no reason to believe they would actually do the right thing now, for the first time ever.

    1. There oughta be an Iron Law or something…

  3. One more time. Holder’s SINGLE failure? His inability to get new gun laws passed (Someone tell him that the AG doesn’t have legislative authority..)…..e-failure/

    Fucking piece of shit…

  4. I was going to put on my shocked face, but it was declared civilly forfeit.

  5. The changes may affect about a quarter of equitable sharing forfeitures and less than a tenth of proceeds.

    And that effect will be limited to making the cops fill out one more piece of paper or tell one more lie.

  6. Speaking of Holder, can you believe this shit?

    1. Ladies and Gentleman: AMERICA’S FOREMOST INTELLECTUAL!!!!

      1. Remember- you are a racist if you question that this person, who from what I can tell has done nothing more than host a little-watch MSNBC weekend show, is America’s Foremost Public Intellectual.

        1. Isn’t MSNBC’s slogan “Bend Over” or something like that?

    2. Dance monkey, dance!

  7. Yeah, so Eric Holder’s a DICK, and fuck him in the ass with a rusty chainsaw wielded by Shriek.

    1. Can’t remember who posted it here a while back but I still love it: Fuck him with a frozen swordfish!

  8. my best friend’s sister makes $61 hourly on the computer . She has been without a job for 8 months but last month her income was $15147 just working on the computer for a few hours. this page…………..


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