McKenna on KIRO: Civil asset forfeiture abuse

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about recent renewed controversy regarding civil asset forfeiture. Federal Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced a renewed focus on seizing assets by the Justice Department and U.S. Attorneys.

Dave Ross: “OK, not that I’m implying there would ever be corruption in the justice system, but it sounds like with a concept like this, there could be police agencies who have their eye on some guy’s – I don’t know, his car, his house – and might even arrange a sting operation and use this kind of civil forfeiture just to get that stuff to fund their own programs.”

Rob McKenna: “The concern by conservatives and progressives is that it’s being over-utilized in ways that violate due process.

“Even if 95% of the time, people who lose their property are in fact guilty – if you were able to take them to court and convict them – if 5% aren’t, if there are innocent people like those poor people in the car whose charitable contributions were confiscated – that’s enough that people say ‘No, we don’t like this, we want greater safeguards.’

“And that’s why all these states have been passing bills reforming civil forfeiture. Problem is, [the] federal government doesn’t recognize those.”

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