Presumption of innocence is thrown out the window in U.S. courts when it comes to civil-forfeiture procedures. ProPublica, a non-profit investigative organization, reports here that seizures of crime-related property have become big business for police agencies throughout the country.
ProPublica estimates that billions of dollars in cars, cash, real estate and other assets are seized every year throiugh civil forfeitures. Much of it comes from people who weren’t charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.
The New Yorker weighs in on the same topic in a compelling article here that describes civil forfeiture as “the Guantanamo Bay of the legal system.”