In one of the most absurd little pieces of news I’ve read in a while, a Minnesota man was arrested for a crime, had his car impounded and then was found not guilty… but never got his car back.
A Brainerd, Minnesota man who was found not guilty in a burglary at Wakeside Bar and Grill near Hankinson won’t be getting his car back.
Despite the jury’s verdict, a judge has decided that the car will be forfeited to the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. Adam Bush was arrested last August.
Adam Bush, a construction worker in Minnesota, was arrested and his car impounded when police concluded that he was likely behind a local robbery. He was tried and found not guilty of the crime, but that didn’t matter to local authorities who decided to keep his car anyway. So basically, an innocent local citizen had his car stolen by the police, and the local government decided it was completely okay for them to do so.
It’s a completely disgusting perversion of the justice system.
Sadly, this may sound like an isolated incident, but it isn’t. In a dangerous and unconstitutional trend, more and more localities are turning to “civil forfeiture laws” to turn a quick buck.
Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, where property is taken after its owner has been found guilty in a court of law, with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with or convicted of a crime to lose homes, cars, cash or other property.
Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but civil forfeiture turns that principle on its head. With civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent.
Local communities all over America are taking part in this horribly unjust practice of stealing private property from law abiding citizens just to fill their own coffers.
Nearly all contemporary forfeiture involves the civil variety. Criminal forfeiture operates as punishment for a crime. It, therefore, requires a conviction, following which the state takes the assets in question from the criminal. Civil forfeiture rests on the idea (a legal fiction) that the property itself, not the owner, has violated the law. Thus, the proceeding is directed against the res, or the thing involved in some illegal activity specified by statute. Unlike criminal forfeiture, in rem forfeiture does not require a conviction or even an official criminal charge against the owner. This is the source of its attractiveness to law enforcement, and its threat to those concerned about abuse or circumvention of Constitutional protections.
Call your local representatives and demand that they stand against this terrible and unconstitutional practice of “civil forfeiture.” The government has no right to your private property, and we must stand together to make sure it stops.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com