Asset Forfeiture

Topics: Illegal drug trade, Asset forfeiture, United States Constitution Pages: 4 (1238 words) Published: June 21, 2008
The United States Department of Justice's Asset Forfeiture Program is a nationwide law enforcement program that has become a powerful weapon in the fight against crime. This involves removing the proceeds of crimes used by criminals to continue activity against society. Asset forfeiture has the impact of disrupting criminal activities that would continue to function if the only tool used was conviction and incarceration of certain individuals. While the Department of Justice program applies only to cases developed by enforcement officials in certain agencies of the Federal Government, state and local agencies may have similar programs and are not part of the federal program. (.http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/afp/) Although the issue has sharply divided opinions, a prime example of how asset forfeiture has been used as a crime fighting tool, on both the federal, state and local levels, is the war on drugs. On June 17th, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared war on drugs. He referred to the abuse of illegal substances as "public enemy number one in the United States". (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/cron/) US citizens were driven to save the future of this country by saving our people from the evils of illegal drugs. Citizens were accepting of most means deemed necessary to win this war. Because of this, asset forfeiture seemed like the right thing to do. Drug lords were amassing fortunes from the sale of illegal substances, which in turn were draining the finances of the citizens as well as doing them physical harm. It was time to turn

the tables and hit the drug lords in their pockets. With no other visible means of earning income, they lived in luxury. Expensive homes, vehicles, property, airplanes and cash would be seized by law enforcement agencies when it was suspected they were purchased with the proceeds of illegal drug sales. The case and items confiscated would then be used by the agencies to continue the war. This seems ideal...
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