• Got the Contributing Memberships stuff finally worked out and made up a thread as a sort of "How-To" to help people figure out how to participate. So if you need help figuring it out, here's the thread you need to take a look at -> http://www.corvetteflorida.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3581 Thank you, everyone! Rich Z.

Supreme Court Limits Civil Asset Forfeiture, Rules Excessive Fines Apply To States

So El Chapo should get $14 billion back?

Is that punishment equivalent to the crimes he committed?

If that $14 billion was made directly from his dealings in drugs, then I would say that it does, and too bad, too sad for him.

But for some average Joe driving through Louisiana to have his Corvette and all his cash seized because cops found the cash had some miniscule trace of drugs on some of the bills detected by a lab test, no, sorry, I don't agree with that.

And certainly under no circumstances should the law enforcement agencies at any level act as mercenaries keeping any of the "spoils" gained in the enforcement of the law. That sort of thing cannot help but be abused.
Didn't see the reply until today but this is a discussion that has no definitive outcome. When you understand what the drugs do to users and families, 14 billion dollars really doesn't cover it. I dealt with the users, the dealers, and the families of both and there was no paradise to be found from any viewpoint. The Wakulla County Sheriff's Office actually had a Cadillac Escalade that was used by the Sheriff's Office after it was seized from a crack dealer. I don't have a problem with that myself. I'm glad I am removed from having to deal with this in my life anymore frankly. Ill gotten booty is ill gotten booty. That's my opinion anyway. But I have seen the smirks and heard the comments on the ride I gave some to the jail, about how taking their stuff (guns, cars, boats, etc.) "didn't mean $hit", that they'd be out and doing their deals before the end of the day. You may be saying that I'm not giving them the benefit of a fair trial but with some of the ones I've dealt with, let's just say, when you know, you know. They're playing the system. I know of people in your county who live this way. One of thems son actually baked marijuana laced brownies and took them to school where teachers and other students consumed them and some were taken to the hospital for "adverse reactions". Cute prank, right? We don't live in a perfect world but I never worked for any law enforcement agency that purposefully seized property just because they could. Anyway, what prompted me to bring this thread back to life is:

Cops already have a lot of temptations. They don't need valuable property taken as confiscations prior to convictions to add to that. Asset seizures without a trial conviction proving guilt is just too ripe for abuses to take place by LEOs too weak (or too ethically challenged) to resist the temptations presented them.

Another prime example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

Well. I think we both know that El Chapo didn't make $14 billion selling tacos. I mean what else DID he do, besides kill people and run a drug cartel?

And it's not like the Sheriff (or any other law enforcement agency) is going to go to your house and randomly take your property because you ran a stop sign.

Many seized assets are actually given up as part of a plea deal to avoid a trial. And others are seized, impounded and held until such time as the courts determine if they were used in a felony. Several years ago, when I lived in Jacksonville, a known drug dealer gave up his Porsche and a large sum of cash that was seized as part of a plea deal to get a lighter sentence. He then went to the Sheriff's auction and bought the car back on the steps of the courthouse while he was still out on bond. He still had plenty of money and he was able to "buy" some time, and get his car back. He was a career criminal.

Law enforcement agencies aren't the ones who make the decisions as to the disposition of the assets seized. They file the paperwork to initiate property seizure when certain felonies are committed, but the disposition is through the courts. If you're going to make money in the illegal drug trade (or prostitution, fill in the blank felony) that's just one of the obstacles you have to deal with. I don't feel sorry for them.

Don't put it all on the law enforcement agencies though, it's just a tool made available to them that was approved through legislation. Apparently some politicians thought it was a good idea.
Heck, I am all for it if serious criminals are the only ones affected by such laws. And it is limited to SERIOUS crimes. There has to be strict limits in place for when confiscation of anyone's property is justified, and even then, it really must be confined by the limitations imposed by constitutional protections of the individual.

Yeah, it sounds silly to think someone could have their vehicle impounded for running a stop sign, but can you really say that it is impossible for that to happen via some change in the law sometime in the future? I am sure some slick attorney (now a law maker) can make a case for such an action endangering people and therefore be akin to conspiring to commit manslaughter. Laws can be twisted and modified as necessary to bring them way out of the intent and scope of such laws as originally intended.

For instance:

It is a felony if you steal more than $300 worth of oranges from a grove.

If you steal ANY property valued at more than $750, that is a felony. With inflation like it is, soon that will cover a LOT of ground.

Stealing a fire extinguisher of any value is a felony.

Trespassing on a construction site is a felony.

Trespassing on commercial horticulture property is a felony.

Stealing a stop sign is a felony.

Stealing a firearm is a felony.

Stealing anything valued at $300 or more from someone 65 years old or older is a felony.

How many of those above are actually serious crimes of violence?

So if such felonies could potentially result in civil forfeiture of any associated property, either now or in the future, sure, why couldn't failure to stop at a stop sign join that list?

Once you are on that slippery slope, it can be damned difficult to get off of it sometimes.
Well I certainly can't speak to the current mindset of those who MAKE the law. What with all the "progressives" and liberals who call to defund law enforcement, they may even go the other way and do away with seizure altogether. You know they have no boundry when it comes to buying a vote. I'm surprised we haven't seen a bill that would allow convicted felons to vote from their prison cell.

As for the INTENT of this law, I agree with it.

My biggest peeve in all of this is, that law enforcement has VERY specific rules to follow, whereas criminals.....have none! Can you imagine watching a football game where one team is required to abide by the rules and the other team, no rules apply?! And yet somehow, the team following the rules is expected to win!

Having been there, literally, it's VERY frustrating! I miss it less and less every day. And I'm making a WHOLE lot more money to be less stressed now so it's a win-win for me. :dancer01:
Heck, after watching the so-called "department of justice" and how they handle people blatantly violating the law in upper levels of government, as well as people being obviously murdered, and they fall all over themselves to ignore the evidence and call it suicide or accidental death, I am pretty much convinced that there is no rule by law in this country any longer. It is all based on politics and connections, with certain levels of people being far above the law.

So why should I be concerned with following the law? Why should I? I do tend to follow the law, because for the most part laws that would impact me seem to be fair and reasonable, and I try to be fair and reasonable. But an unfair or unreasonable law? Screw it. If the people making the laws don't have to follow them, then they are leading by example as far as I am concerned. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Quite frankly I used to believe the FBI was above all this political nonsense. But after the last few years, if I KNEW of a federal crime being committed and could volunteer that evidence to the FBI, I would not. I have absolutely no respect for them any longer, and wouldn't lift a finger to help them in any way.

And don't even get me started concerning how there could ever possibly be a law on the books making a criminal offense out of "contempt of Congress"! :shrug01:
Obviously you're not a democrat since you fear prosecution for violating laws.....I don't think either one of us saw all this crap coming now did we? The world has changed a lot during my lifetime. And not all for the better.....
I think that is most of the problem with today. Young people don't have a clue of what they have already lost. They are growing up in this bent and corrupt world and think it is just normal.

Heck, you have men who can't compete against their own sexes in sports competitions claiming that, "Hey, I feel like I am female today, so I want to compete against women instead," and some people feel this is perfectly normal.

And a LOT of restrooms now are pretty much sexless. Men and women using the same restrooms. So far they are single occupant only affairs, but I am curious how this will work with larger restrooms for multiple occupants. I think if Connie walked into a restroom and there was a guy in there, she would likely knee the bastard to try to move him more quickly towards being ball deficient.

And I am certainly glad I don't have children. I think if I learned of some of the crap they are teaching kids in school these days I would be leading a posse to string up a bunch of those teachers from the nearest live oak tree.

And people are trying to shove this down our throat as being some sort of new normal.... :shrug01: Sorry, but NO, it is NOT normal.
Can you imagine watching a football game where one team is required to abide by the rules and the other team, no rules apply?! And yet somehow, the team following the rules is expected to win!

Yeah, Try Vietnam and/or Afghanistan!
This country is SOOO screwed. And it is disheartening to see how many people are just too stupid to realize it.

I am glad Connie and I do not have children. I would hate the thought of how the world they are coming into will be for them.

The Second Amendment is literally the canary in the coal mine right now. When that goes, just kiss what is left of your freedom good bye.
And what about all those so called "Sanctuary" cities/states? Didn't the elected officials take an oath to uphold the laws? They should all be tried (and convicted) of aiding and abetting those ILLEGAL aliens! I've just about had it with this country. I no longer stand for the national anthem, or say the pledge of allegiance because the country that now exists, is NOT the same one I fought to defend, and I have NO connection to this new one.
Heck, they set a precedent, now let them stew in their own juices when other cities and states go to being Second Amendment Sanctuaries, and anything else they can think of to stymie this socialist bullcrap the democrats are trying to force down our throats. The lefties have paved the way showing everyone that states and localities have the power to neutralize any federal "law" within their own borders with non-compliance. So what is good for the goose is going to be good for the gander. And they are absolutely going to HATE what they have let loose.

I hope they carry this through to a logical conclusion by completely negating the BATF's and IRS's powers. Among many others.