Vice Squad
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Maybe They Won't Get Your House After All

Yesterday, in lamenting the use of asset forfeiture laws to combat vice offenses, I facetiously suggested that instead of just grabbing cars, the government should destroy homes. Will Baude at Crescat Sententia reminds me that there's actually a chance the Supreme Court would not go along with that move! Following a 1998 precedent, the Court might conclude that such a penalty would constitute an excessive fine in violation of the 8th Amendment.

Speaking of forfeiture....a fellow was arrested on three-year old cocaine charges last winter in Wisconsin. Bail was set at $25,000, and some of his friends came up with cold, hard cash. After the money was posted for bail, a drug dog alerted on six of the bills, apparently, so the money was seized, of course. Now his lawyer wants the money back.

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