Jeff Sessions Seeks More Asset Forfeiture from Marijuana Suspects

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on July 27, 2017.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice will make it easier for local law enforcement to engage in Civil Asset Forfeiture from crime suspects, specifically in marijuana and other drug related cases.

 “We hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture -- especially for drug traffickers. With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime,” the Attorney General stated at a law enforcement conference in Minnesota.

Asset forfeiture is a practice in which police seize cash and property from those suspected of a crime, and then sell the confiscated property to pay for expenses.

The Justice Department sees the assets forfeiture program as a way to strip suspects of the proceeds of their activities, to deter crime and to compensate crime victims.

"Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate," Sessions emphasized in his speech, "as is sharing with our partners."  He also called it as the Equitable Sharing Program, and made clear that he intends to undo a 2015 Justice Department memo authorized by then-Attorney General Eric Holder curtailing the practice.

 However, the practice has been criticized because it allows law enforcement to take possessions — such as cars and money — without indictments or evidence a crime has been committed.

several prominent political groups are opposing the practice on constitutional grounds. They point out under the Due Process Clauses contained within the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which states “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

According to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, the DEA alone has taken over $3 billion in cash from American people not charged with any crime in last ten years.

comments powered by Disqus