Does the GOP believe in anything?
- It is shit like this that forced me to leave the Big Government loving Republican Party years ago to become an independent Constitutional Federalist.
- Here we see the fools in the GOP dominated Tennessee House defending the stealing of private property without a trial.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Tenth Amendment Center) – Today, a House Subcommittee voted unanimously to kill a bill to reform asset forfeiture laws to prohibit the state from taking property without a criminal conviction. The legislation would have also taken on federal forfeiture programs by banning prosecutors from circumventing state laws by passing cases off to the feds in most situations.
Rep. Tilman Goins (R-Morristown) introduced House Bill 2428 (HB2428) on Jan. 21. Sen. Mae Beavers sponsors the companion bill in the Senate (SB2272). The legislation sought to reform Tennessee law by requiring a criminal conviction before prosecutors could proceed with asset forfeiture. Under current law, the state can seize assets even if a person is never found guilty of a crime, or even arrested.
Today, the House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted unanimously to kill the bill. Interestingly, even a cosponsor of the bill, Rep. Jim Coley, voted against it.
|GOP dominated Tennessee House of Representatives|
ADDRESSES FEDERAL PROGRAMS
Another asset forfeiture bill is likely to move forward this session, but out of a number of bills filed, only HB2428 and SB2272 address a huge federal loophole that has been used to circumvent state level restrictions on asset forfeiture.
These bills would ban most instances of a process that allows prosecutors to bypass more stringent state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the federal government under its Equitable Sharing forfeiture program.
(a) A law enforcement agency shall not directly or indirectly transfer seized property to a federal law enforcement authority or other federal agency unless the value of the seized property exceeds fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), excluding the potential value of the forfeited property, if sold.(b) A law enforcement agency shall not transfer property to the federal government if the transfer would circumvent the protections of this part that are otherwise available to a putative interest holder in the property.
The inclusion of provisions barring state and local law enforcement agencies from passing off cases to the feds is particularly important. In several states with strict asset forfeiture laws, prosecutors have done just that. By placing the case under federal jurisdiction, law enforcement can bypass the need for a conviction under state law and collect up to 80 percent of the proceeds from forfeited assets via the federal Equitable Sharing Program.Read More . . . .