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Michael Haugen | June 26, 2015
In a new CATO podcast, Arif Panju of the Institute for Justice gets into the state of civil asset forfeiture practices in Texas.
In a word, Texas isn’t doing very well. In the recent legislative session, Texas had thirteen opportunities to reform, by varying degrees, the practice of seizing citizens’ property without securing criminal convictions. Not a single bill was passed and signed into law.
A recent FreedomWorks grading sheet investigating all 50 states’ laws pertaining to asset forfeiture found that Texas’ laws regarding the practice only merited a lowly D:
“The standard of proof is too low; the government must only show a preponderance of the evidence to forfeit property. The burden is on the property owner to prove his innocence to get his property back. Law enforcement keeps up to 90% of forfeiture funds. House Bill 3171 is one of many bills that was introduced to reform the law.”
In this podcast, Panju discusses the fixes to civil asset forfeiture that might have been. Listen to it below: