Most people don’t know it, but the government can take people’s homes, cars, and money without charging them with a crime — and the burden of recovery is on the owners!
In Forfeiting Our Property Rights, Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois examines the abuse inherent in civil forfeiture, the law that lets government take property that is merely suspected of having “facilitated” crime. Hyde shows how forfeiture law has cost innocent people their property and at least one citizen, Donald Scott, his life. In fact, over a quarter of a million Americans have had their property seized through forfeiture law.
Congressman Hyde proposes an overhaul of the law to protect innocent property owners, including a shift in the burden of proof from citizen to the government and a raising of the standard the government must satisfy to seize property in the first place. This alarm on behalf of our threatened civil liberties and rights couldn’t be more timely.