Asset Forfeiture

New Mexico's Legislature Reforms Asset Forfeiture to Require Actual Guilt

Bill also shifts money seized to general fund and away from law enforcement.

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"BOLO a sweet new set of wheels for the chief."
Credit: Photographerlondon | Dreamstime.com

Over the weekend, New Mexico's legislature pushed forward with what appears to be some significant asset forfeiture reform. The state's Senate voted 37-0 on Saturday to eliminate the civil version of asset forfeiture that allows law enforcement agencies to take the money of property of citizens accused of criminal behavior. The state will still have an asset forfeiture system, but these changes will require citizens to be convicted of crimes in order for the state to lay claim to their stuff.

The legislation, House Bill 560 (pdf), would also require property from asset forfeiture to be auctioned off and any funds collected from the process to go to the state's general fund. That's a distinction just as important. Not only would it curtail the incentives for law enforcement agencies to try to find reasons to search and seize money and property from citizens; it also keeps law enforcement agencies from turning to the Department of Justice's federal Equitable Sharing Program Asset Forfeiture Fund to bypass the state's regulation. The Department of Justice program allows law enforcement agencies to partner up with the federal governments for police activities. The federal government then "adopts" the bust, seizes the assets, and directs money back to the law enforcement agencies. Billions of dollars have been transferred to law enforcement agencies across the country through this process, allowing police to bypass attempts to restrict seizures.

Because HB560 would forbid law enforcement agencies from having or keeping forfeited assets (at one point in the 37-page bill it bluntly says "A law enforcement agency shall not retain forfeited or abandoned property"), no New Mexico agencies will be able to participate in the Department of Justice's program.

"Part of the reason this bill was put together was in fact to close that loophole," says Micah McCoy, communications director for the American Civil Liberties Union chapter in New Mexico. New Mexico had already banned civil forfeiture, but local agencies were using the federal program to continue seizing assets with the help of the federal government and keeping money and property. The Santa Fe New Mexican described how the process played out in a case from 2010:

In 2010, a 60-year-old African American man and his son, newly reconciled, set off from Chicago to Las Vegas, Nev., to visit another relative. The mapping system in their rented car directed them to Las Vegas, N.M., instead.

Coming through Raton, they were stopped by New Mexico State Police for speeding. The man gave officers permission to search his car, in which they found $17,000 in cash that he and his son were carrying to help pay for the trip and for renovations to the relative's new home.

According to court documents, before releasing the pair, one officer warned, "This isn't over yet." When the man asked what he meant, the officer allegedly said, "You'll see."

Sure enough, Albuquerque police later pulled them over for a minor traffic violation, and an official from the Department of Homeland Security showed up, seized the cash, impounded the rental car and dropped the man and his son at the airport with nothing but a jar of coins they were planning to use in the slot machines in Las Vegas.

The ACLU helped them get their money back. This legislation would eliminate future tricks like this one.

"This basically ends that [civil] forfeiture in New Mexico, and now we'll only have criminal forfeiture," McCoy says.

But even though it passed with absolutely no opposition in the House and Senate, it still needs the governor's signature. They're hoping Republican Gov. Susana Martinez will sign the bill, despite the lobbying against it from law enforcement sources. McKay is hopeful, though he's not sure what Martinez is likely to do.

"I think it's telling that it passed unanimously out of both houses," McKay said. "This is a true bipartisan bill. The practice is so grossly unfair that people across the board voted for it."

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118 responses to “New Mexico's Legislature Reforms Asset Forfeiture to Require Actual Guilt

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  2. If we *must* have asset forfeiture, it should apply to LEOs as well.

    Might have a, um, chilling effect.

  3. ” “I think it’s telling that it passed unanimously out of both houses,” McKay said. “This is a true bipartisan bill. The practice is so grossly unfair that people across the board voted for it.” ”

    Tells you a lot about what people think about this once they understand the issue.

    The fact civil asset forfeiture is widely practiced in the US demonstrates that the US is no longer a functioning democracy.

    1. We have never been a democracy.

      What it means is the US Supreme Court as rendered the Bill of Rights toothless.

      1. An amazingly bad decision. I thought this practice was doomed, then, like they’re wont to do, the Supreme Court turned that frown into a smile.

    2. Do they have veto overrides in NM? Because if they do, it looks like any veto will be overridden.

      1. Beat me to it. Exactly what I was thinking.

      2. Yes, 2/3rds majority required. But vetoes that can be “easily” overridden have an interesting ability to not actually be presented for override in the legislature, especially if the legislature sends the bill to the governor’s desk and then adjourns for a year.

      3. But then agian, it’s not like the law applies to the LEOs. They’ll just find some sort of work-around to keep the money flowing with a nod-and-a-wink from the locals and the lawn order types. Black-letter law don’t beat the golden rule.
        .
        IIRC, there was just an article here about how the law works in Indiana – the Indiana Constitution says forfeitures have to go to a state fund but the locals just keep the money anyways and nobody does anything about it. That’s some pretty brassy balls right there. And Utah had a ballot initiative that stopped this asset forfeiture nonsense and that law was undone. Amazing what you can come up with if you drag a hundred dollar bill through city hall.

    3. The fact civil asset forfeiture is widely practiced in the US demonstrates that the US is no longer a functioning democracy.

      It does no such thing, since democracy is not a panacea against government abuse.

      1. And in fact is often a catalyst for abuse.

      2. Thus why The Founders built a republic with competitive co-equal branches of government. Unfortunately, they couldn’t forsee craven cooperation and cowardice between the branches.

        1. No, what they did was fuck up. They should have realized that over time, humans will corrupt any system. You cannot make a functional one that can’t be corrupted. That is the hubris in the desire to “make systems of government”. Because you can put in as many tripwires and competitive branches as you like, eventually they will all turn into the same thing: despotism. Because that is what government always becomes. Always.

          1. What isn’t discussed at Orange Line cocktail parties or in your high school civics classes (assuming schools even teach it anymore) is that certain men who founded the country (most notably, Thomas Jefferson) just assumed that the American public would probably overthrow the federal government if it got too bad.

            I know, right? What a bunch of dumbasses.

            1. …[they] just assumed that the American public would probably overthrow the federal government if it got too bad.

              Well, that is what the Second Amendment is actually for. Which is why the government hates it so much.

    4. Prohibition and the Crash were more than coincidentally related. Examination of how victimless crime law enforcement and the looter legislation it spawns serves, by induction, to exemplify the commonsense content of “The Money Speech” in Atlas Shrugged. Seek after data in “Prohibition and the Crash” and ye shall find ways to get voters to vote libertarian–if only to get their life savings and retirement funds back.

  4. In 2010, a 60-year-old African American man and his son, newly reconciled, set off from Chicago to Las Vegas, Nev., to visit another relative. The mapping system in their rented car directed them to Las Vegas, N.M., instead.

    How do you even make that mistake? Just curious.

    Coming through Raton, they were stopped by New Mexico State Police for speeding.

    My grandmother is from Raton. It’s a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere. Undoubtedly bored cops would be giddy at the thought of pulling this off.

    1. How do you even make that mistake?

      I think it happens a lot. Though probably not to such a great degree in most cases. Some people just give up completely on knowing where they are when they use GPS navigation. This is what happens when people can’t read maps.

  5. The Cruz thread is buried, so I’m just going to stick this here. This American Conservative article regarding Ted Cruz’ foreign policy that someone posted in there is very odd. They attack Cruz’ foreign policy, but this is the only thing they quote:

    ‘”If and when military action is called for, it should be A) with a clearly defined military objective, B) executed with overwhelming force, and C) when we’re done we should get the heck out,” he said.’

    I’m confused as to what’s wrong with this. Everyone agrees that there is some point where military force is called for. Even the most libertarian person would have no problem with fighting back if you’re attacked, for example. Cruz also explicitly rejects neo-conservative nation building, which is what got us into that mess in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is something American Conservative should support.

    American Conservative irritates me because their entire schtick seems to be criticizing everyone else’s foreign policy while saying things like ‘we should have a responsible foreign policy!’ but never explaining what that means. If they’re outright non-interventionists then they should just say so, but instead they babble about ‘responsibility’ without ever putting their own necks on the line by explaining what sort of foreign policy they actually want.

    1. Then again, given that Pat Buchanan wrote a book about how we shouldn’t have fought World War II, I guess there’s really no pleasing that guy.

    2. It seems to me that almost everyone who talks about foreign policy restricts themselves to buzz words and criticizing others. Except for a few people who are mostly crazier than a shithouse rat.

    3. That was me who posted it. And you’re right, it seemed to be guilt by association AND “Ted Cruz is dumb.”

      But you’re right on their foreign policy “position”: everyone is wrong about everything. As a casual reader of their website, it seems part of the problem may be a very loose editorial hand. You have a lot of people posting there who have no truly common belief system other than “everyone but us sucks.” At the same time, however, you do get some really interesting cultural stuff such as essays on C.S. Lewis and others.

    4. “If and when military action is called for, it should be A) with a clearly defined military objective, B) executed with overwhelming force, and C) when we’re done we should get the heck out,” he said.’

      Honestly, if that is really Cruz’s position on military policy that isn’t too bad.

      I’d add that we should have a formal declaration of war and compelling interest, but as far as Repukes go that is pretty reasonable.

      If they’re outright non-interventionists then they should just say so, but instead they babble about ‘responsibility’ without ever putting their own necks on the line by explaining what sort of foreign policy they actually want.

      I get the distinct impression, and I could be completely wrong of course, that Buchanan and company start with the idea that the US is always wrong and work backwards from there. Not having a definition for what they think constitutes “responsible foreign policy” makes playing that game a whole lot easier.

      1. Declarations of war are anachronisms in the UN era. So long as Congress grants its approval, that’s good enough for me (from a legal standpoint; not stating that Congressional approval means it’s a good idea).

    5. Raton is maybe 10 miles south of the Colorado border.

      I’m betting the cops pull over lots and lots of people who have just left Colorado and ask to search their cars, because pot.

      1. Same thing’s being happened in Nebraska. Of course, the sheriffs in those towns have crying how this demonstrates CO’s policy has failed. They MUST pull over people doing 10 over the speed limit and MUST search their cars and MUST lock them up. So, give us more money.

        And what’s with all the titles. Irish gets a peerage, you get promoted. I must be doing something wrong.

        1. I believe it’s symbolic of membership in the “Angry White Guys Brigade” and also a poke at “Bo Cara, Esq.”. I can’t find the thread where Bo went nuts with that one but it’s in here somewhere.

        2. Yeah, its part of my little joke on Bo.

          Don’t know if we’re up to a division level of membership, so I’m sticking with Colonel. For a little while. Hey, jokes have expiration dates.

    6. You expected what from a bunch of mystical looters? Honesty? Intelligence?

  6. So they are going to submit to the bill of rights? Why do they need to pass a law to do this? Oh ,fuck you that’s why?

  7. Actual good news? In my Hit&Run;?

    1. Its not a law yet. This could be the windup for a nutpunch.

    2. Your Hit & Run?!?

      1. Yeah I donated like a hundred bucks during the begathon a couple years ago, and they sold me out every two-bit SoCon politician with ten bucks and a postal meter.

        1. We’ve all done that, Hugh. Even your mom. It doesn’t make you special. Except for your mom, but in that case, she’s already “special”. You know what I mean.

          1. As usual Epi, I have no idea what you mean.

  8. Related movie review: saw Kill the Messenger over the weekend. Starts off with a nice bit about a reporter exposing asset forfeiture abuse then goes off headlong into the drug war main plot. Not bad for a near-straight to DVD flick.
    Then saw Interstellar for a full dose of climate derp. boo…

    1. Then saw Interstellar for a full dose of climate derp. boo…

      I’m curious as to what makes you say that. I mean, obviously, the disasters that serve as a catalyst for the plot are somewhat climatological in nature, but it’s not like there are characters standing around everywhere saying “Damn, if only we’d listened to Al Gore and Greenpeace, none of this would have happened!”

      Funnily enough, a progressive friend of mine said she skipped seeing Interstellar because she heard about its (and I quote) “authoritarian/libertarian message” about how humans shouldn’t care about trashing Earth because we’re destined to find another planet.

      1. “authoritarian/libertarian message”

        *slams head against desk multiple times*

      2. the disasters that serve as a catalyst for the plot are somewhat climatological in nature

        “The science fiction is settled.”

      3. Did you ask your friend what an oxymoron was?

        1. As opposed to a hydromoron?

          1. All I know is that retards are involved somehow. How do I know? I know my own.

            1. Well, some of them retards are extremely clever.

        2. Well, see, the libertarians are the real authoritarians, because “they want corporations to have control of everything” which I’m also informed “is the definition of fascism”. I was enjoying my whiskey at the time too much to let that conversation ruin it and steered to a different subject.

          You know, when you hang out in a lot of internet comment threads it gets easy to just assume that the people who have these ridiculous-sounding positions are just trolling on some level, so it’s always a little bit jarring to hear people actually make these arguments in person.

          I don’t know if it’s just terrible messaging on the part of libertarians or what, but there are some very warped views about it out there.

          1. I know the feeling. I was looking for a report on the Uber driver who shot a berserker in the looter media and the pious faith in Kristallnacht gun laws shocked me. I figure it is either a cry for help–“stop me from having a gun for I would surely lose my temper and start killing people”–or for impunity: “finally, a berserker with the cojones to fire into a crowd, my hero! Curses! Foiled! Augh!”

      4. I’m curious as to what makes you say that

        Because it seems to be plucked straight from the Church of the AGW, Gospel of Gore. It’s presumably set a decade or two from now, so the temps maybe have risen a degree, but OMG we’ve lost wheat and now okra!! And everyone’s surviving on corn. Yeah, uh huh.

        1. Because it seems to be plucked straight from the Church of the AGW, Gospel of Gore. It’s presumably set a decade or two from now, so the temps maybe have risen a degree, but OMG we’ve lost wheat and now okra!! And everyone’s surviving on corn. Yeah, uh huh.

          I don’t think anyone in the entire film says the words “global warming”. No one even seems to particularly blame humans themselves for the whole dustbowl situation.

          The idea that human civilization would seek new opportunities on other planets after depleting/exhausting much of the Earths’ natural resources isn’t exactly new as a science fiction plot. That the setting is the near-future (and it’s clearly more like six or seven decades from now, not two) just gives it some modern-day relevance and adds a sense of urgency to the characters’ mission.

          I mean, if Nolan’s goal was to make a Greenpeace-approved climate change piece of agitprop, he did a terrible job of it, because I didn’t get any sense that that was what the movie was about at all.

          1. No one even seems to particularly blame humans

            after depleting/exhausting much of the Earths’ natural resources

            How could you not? To me it’s not too hard to walk away from the movie with that feeling even if there’s no dialogue speaking directly to it.
            And I guess it’s hard for me to see the 6-7 decade thing when everything but the spacecraft is pretty present day. To each his own…

          2. Agreed. The crops seemed to be infected with some disease, not dying off because of AGW. If they wanted an AGW warning movie, they would have at least made everyone wear skimpier clothing to reflect a warmer climate. I don’t even recall any mention of temperature one way or the other.

      5. With friends like these, freedom needs enemies?

    2. How about some 25 year old climate derp?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDFF9sIT6jE

  9. this is awesome news! go new mexico!!!

    1. Iv3 seen countless articles here about abuse of power by New Mexico cops. This is a good sign but they have a long way to go I wouldn’t pack my bags just yet.

  10. This will obviously restrict law enforcement from stopping pre-crime so the governor will veto it.

    1. Hard to say. This allows the state government to get their mitts on the money, which they previously couldn’t do.

      Super-hard for a Gov to veto a bill that brings revenue to the state’s checkbook.

      1. Yeah, but it eliminates any incentive for the police to do so. Here in Maine it all goes to the general fund. Tickets, fines, forfeitures, you name it. Being that local cops can’t profit from tickets and fines, they are less likely to hand them out. I’ve had two speeding tickets in this state, both were from state troopers. Every time I’ve been pulled over by a local cop I got a warning.

        1. Seems like this should be the standard approach in all states. That way the pols and the cops can fight about it and leave us regular folk alone.

  11. I’m honestly shocked. Seriously. I would think the Law and Order crowd would be up in arms about this. Asset forfeiture deprives defendants of the ability to hire a defense attorney of their choosing, which forces them into taking on a public pretender whose job is to get a plea bargain for the state. This will mean fewer convictions, which to the Law and Order crowd means criminals getting off.

    1. “Someone’s going to get off here, and I don’t want it to be the defendant.”

  12. Wait for the veto – after which the legislators’ spines will collapse like telescopes and they’ll approved a watered-down, meaningless version of this bill.

  13. So, we have a full-on Putin apologist dancing around in the brickbat thread.

    His defenses of Russian aggression in Ukraine are, interesting. Stupid, but interesting in their stupidity.

    1. I haven’t checked this one out, but as outlandish as it sounds, there’s a non-zero chance they’re actually in the employ of the Russian government. It’s no secret that they hire schlubs to go on English message boards and whatnot to push the party line. Hell, our government probably does it too.

      1. This is My Last Post has commented on many articles unrelated to Putin, so he’s definitely not a Russian sockpuppet.

        1. Bah, comrade. Commenting in non-Russian threads is just part of his maskirovka,

        2. This is My Last Post has commented on many articles unrelated to Putin, so he’s definitely not a Russian sockpuppet.

          I don’t think he is either.

          He is engaging in some pretty blatant Putin/Russia apologia though.

          He could be ethnic Russian. Most of the Russians I know have a huge blind spot when it comes to the Motherland. It’s an understandable if not entirely reasonable position.

          1. That was … interesting. Better you than me, calling him on that.

  14. Because HB560 would forbid law enforcement agencies from having or keeping forfeited assets (at one point in the 37-page bill it bluntly says “A law enforcement agency shall not retain forfeited or abandoned property”), no New Mexico agencies will be able to participate in the Department of Justice’s program.

    I’m sorry, but unless the bill explicitly bars partnering up with the DoJ (which it doesn’t), then this bill does not say that.

    1. That just means that if they do partner with the DoJ, the state gets the loot.

    2. The DOJ rules require the police to have a fund/process to accept the forfeited assets, and since this law would prohibit the maintaining of a fund, they cannot participate in the DOJ system.

      1. I’m sure the DoJ will come up with a variance to help out poor localities unable to protect their communities due to these pesky laws….

        1. And since that variance will divert money from the state’s coffers, the state has an incentive to fight them on it.

  15. Does anyone else think it’s kind of strange that this issue is suddenly getting traction after 30+ years of libertarians complaining about it?

    Anyone have a theory as to why?

    If a couple of articles in the Washington Post and NY Time is all it takes, why didn’t it happen before?

    1. Because the participation of libertarians in this crusade discredited the whole cause?

      /kidding

    2. Tough-on-crime politics have only recently become unfashionable, for one thing.

    3. John Oliver helped. Probably some high profile local cases finally making national news and locals asking, “hey wait, does my town do this?” Or maybe just random groundswell. Same thing happened with occupational licensing in TX a few years back.

      1. John Fucking Oliver’s audience is less than .5% of the American voters

  16. “The man gave officers permission to search his car…”

    WHY?

    1. Rymes with “cupidity.”

    2. People are hardwired to defer to people in uniforms. It’s weird. But it takes effort to refuse a search. Your initial impulse is to agree to whatever police officers say. I’ve actually fell into this myself. Had a cop asking me some questions and I found myself giving the “right” answer based upon the cop’s vocal inflection, rather than the honest answer. They know this and use it to their advantage, and get really angry when it doesn’t work.

      1. Also, most people are naive. It would never occur to them that the cops would just straight up steal their shit. Plus they’ve been propagandized from birth that the cops are the good guys.

    3. “Cold consent”. They stop you on a pretext, and then badger you with overt and implied threats until you waive your rights.

      Its the New Professionalism.

      1. That is just fucking amazing. They stop you without even reasonable suspicion. Then if you refuse consent, they harass you and escalate the situation until you do something they can call uncooperative or confrontational and use that as an excuse to arrest you and of course search your bags incident to arrest. Sure, you will never be charged or convicted of anything. That won’t matter since they will still seize your money and even though you won’t go to jail, you still will be arrested and humiliated for not consenting.

        Tell me exactly how we are not a police state?

        1. In this context, it’s actually more of a mafia state than a police state. Being shaken down at every turn is much more extortion than Stasi. Of course, it makes little difference in the end. If you get uppity, they can take care of you without fear to themselves.

          1. You are right. In some ways it is worse than the Stasi. The Stasi was evil but at least you knew how to stay out of their sights. It is horrible unjust and evil to imprison someone for saying the wrong thing or criticizing the government. That being said, at least in East Germany you knew how to avoid the state fucking with you.

            Here, you have no idea. They can come and fuck with you, humiliate you, and take your property just because you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

        2. That is just fucking amazing. They stop you without even reasonable suspicion. Then if you refuse consent, they harass you and escalate the situation until you do something they can call uncooperative or confrontational and use that as an excuse to arrest you and of course search your bags incident to arrest.

          You sound surprised. You have never had a cop tell you he will call for a K9 and absolutely destroy the interior, “just to make sure” you do not have something hidden?

          1. I am not surprised, just disgusted.

          2. That sounds…fun. I haven’t had that happen, just general threats and “do you know what I could do to you?” bullshit.

            1. It sounds fun to me too. It is probably a good thing it hasn’t happened to me. I would no doubt no a lot more about the law and my rights than the flat foot harassing me and would not resist the temptation to humiliate him with that knowledge. Such an encounter would likely end with me dead or near death and being the subject of the next Balko story.

              1. I would no doubt no a lot more about the law and my rights than the flat foot harassing me

                I know my rights as well but at the side of the road is not the place to argue them, as you say you can end up dead. The cop was nice enough to tell me my car would “make a great new cruiser.” He was an ass from the word go.

          3. My stepson’s cop-father just took a K9 home. I can totally see him doing exactly that, just for fun. The guy fits every stereotype of a bad cop, and his 13yr old son worships him. It’s sad to watch.

            1. Because he has power. Power is very seductive.

      2. They will often threaten to get a search warrant and imply that your car might not come out so well after the search if you make them go to all that trouble.

        1. “Whatev, dude. If your warrant is based on any bad information at all, you’ll pay to rebuild my car. Even if you don’t, I’ve been planning to do some custom work on it, anyway. Go nuts. But you don’t have my permission to search my car.

          In fact, since I’m not being detained (since you have no probable cause), I think I’m just going to drive away. That’s what ‘You aren’t being detained’ means, right?”

  17. Historically, I think civil asset forfeiture was a customs thing, allowing customs to seize property that shouldn’t be imported.

    The ownership of that property was often overseas, so there wasn’t a good way to get a judgment against the actual owner (they likely weren’t subject to US jurisdiction at all, and getting a judgment in their home country would be a bad joke).

    In that context, there’s probably something to it. Expand it outside that context, and, well, you can see the result. None of the reasons for allowing it at customs apply to allowing it anywhere else.

    1. The government used to confiscate murder weapons, even if the weapon belonged to the victim or an innocent third party.

      “From the stab wounds on the victim’s body, I conclude that he was beaten to death with this diamond-encrusted chalice.”

      1. The government has always taken evidence of crimes. They used to at least, give that property back to its owner after the trial is over. I think not giving murder weapons back is as much as anything the result of the ghoulish nature of a murder weapon. I mean if your father shot your mother with your shotgun that you were keeping at the house, would you really want it back? I wouldn’t.

        1. That’s incredibly superstitious and animist, John. It’s just a piece of metal. It didn’t “do” anything. If it’s your only shotgun, do you really want to lose it?

          1. It is not superstitious, it is just emotional. I am not superstitious about guns at all. That being said, owning the gun that killed my mother would very much weird me out. It wouldn’t be because I was superstitious about the weapon. I don’t see having a problem with owning a gun that had once been used to kill someone I didn’t know. Hell, if I ever had to kill someone in self defense, I would have no problem with continuing to own the weapon. It would be because the weapon’s connection to the death of my mother would always cause it to be associated with that and make handling it or using it just a reminder of her tragic death.

            1. I guess my point is that it’s still just a piece of metal, that shouldn’t really be connected to anything because it’s just a tool, but I see what you’re saying. It would remind you of it and that would be enough to not want it. I’m not particularly sentimental so I don’t think I would have that problem, but I can see others having it.

              1. It would totally be an emotional thing. Rationally, you are right. It is just a piece of metal.

        2. I’d sell it.

        3. The government taking objects that killed people was an invention of the Norman occupiers. The Anglo-Saxons would give the object to the victim (or family).

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deodand

          1. There’s a strong tradition within the ancient Germanic legal systems of individual liberty and property. You may have noticed that the most flagrant violation of those principles in our modern legal system almost invariably arise via statutes and civil proceedings.

            1. Yeah – what happened to those Germans, where did they go wrong?

              1. The French took over.

                1. Precisely. It’s amazing that a relatively short period of French occupation wiped out centuries (if not millennia) of legal precedent and jurisprudence. And not for the better.

  18. America is still, for all of its faults, a pretty fair minded country. Most people are not going to support the idea of the government taking people’s money in the name of it being criminal proceeds and then never charging the person with a crime.

    I firmly believe, and this case I think supports me in this, that law enforcement gets away with this bullshit because most people have no idea what is going on. Once they realize what is going on, they are generally very supportive of putting a stop to it. So if there is someone to blame for this shit continuing other than the police, it is the media for failing to inform the public of how abusive the practice really is.

  19. If Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has any ambition to become the GOP’s Presidential or Veep nominee, she had best not veto this bill.

    As for the LEOs and the Homeland Security thug involved in the cited case, jail time is not sufficient penalty – except there wasn’t any jail time or any other penalty.

    1. Mandatory attendance at a Rick Astley concert.

    2. Come now, if you have been here long enough, you know how these tales end… “and nothing else happened” … or maybe “and the officers all made it home safe”. And then you end up doubled up on the floor, thanks to said nutpunch.


  20. New Mexico’s Legislature Reforms Asset Forfeiture to Require Actual Guilt
    Bill also shifts money seized to general fund and away from law enforcement.

    AMEN and KEEP DOPE ALIVE !!!

  21. Does anyone know what argument are being made by those who oppose this measure? I know it’s because they are despicable greedy crooks, but they can’t come out and state it this way. What is their (made up) argument?

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