This is a reform that needs to pass.
Among the proposed requirements is that a criminal conviction must occur; that forfeiture be proportional to the crime committed; and that all proceeds from a forfeiture be set aside for schools. The bill also raises the burden of proof in forfeiture cases.
Craig argues the reforms are “an important step to ensure that no person is deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, as guaranteed by the 5th Amendment.”
Under current law, a person’s property can be taken from them not only without a conviction, but without even a criminal charge filed against them, Craig said.
We agree with Sen. Craig’s central point, that there should be no forfeiture in the absence of a conviction. We believe that if property is seized from a suspect as evidence, if that suspect is found not guilty the property should be immediately returned. State Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Somers, is a co-sponsor of the bill, and the American Civil Liberties Union has expressed support.