Ramblings of an Emergency Physician in Texas
Hat tip to Bert for the photo.
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No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Here’s the story. Due process of law and all.
It’s “due process” in honking big quotes. Remember that in the drug war’s looting …. err I mean asset forfeiture, there is no need to charge or convict the property owner. To quote the DOJ’s own web site on civil forfeiture :
“The property is the defendant and no criminal charge against the owner is necessary.”
In many of these cases, the burden of proof is on the original owner to prove that the property was not the result of a crime.
There is also criminal forfeiture, but since that requires the government to actually convict a person, well you can guess which approach the government prefers to use.
Of course, this is only used against the “bad guys”.*
All of that aside, I would feel a little less uncomfortable if the loot didn’t go back to organization that seized it. It is just begging for abuse.
Sigh, at least they have a sense of humor.
* The definition of bad guy is subject to change without notice and may be changed retroactively. We are permitted to maintain more than one definition at any one time even if those definitions are contradictory. It’s for the children. Trust us.
Doesn’t this send kind of a mixed message? I.e., advertising the fact that drug dealers can buy luxury SUVs, but that some of them (but not all) will subsequently lose them to the law? Does watching a documentary on MC Hammer’s bankruptcy and seeing all of the mansions he used to live in (but can’t now) make people not want to be rock stars?
It’s kind of neat to see and I think the Sheriff can make a PR argument but I’m not sure the 20k they gave up by not auctioning the vehicle couldn’t have been better spent on a dedicated spokesperson or another media channel.
So nice to see Brazos County has a sense of humor! After spending a few years at Aggieland a few decades ago, was nice to see a reminder of the off-campus life.
That’s the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long time….
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