CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE
IS IT LEGAL OR NOT?
Editors note: The Supreme Court recently struck down a Colorado law that refused to refund seized property and court fines for people who had their convictions overturned, demanding that the now innocent victim of the judicial system "prove beyond reasonable doubt" that they were innocent of a crime. That is something that is near impossible in most cases. The state of Colorado decided that the people were innocent enough to overturn the cases but not innocent enough to return their seized assets. The Supreme Court's Justice Thomas recently stated that the historical backing for asset forfeiture might not stand a constitutional challenge the way modern police are using the practice.
We are well aware that Civil Asset Forfeiture is an extremely sore spot between the law enforcement community and the civilian population. Over the last two legislative sessions we have watched events unfold at the State Capitol were Senator Kyle Loveless has made repeated attempts to change the law to make it friendlier to the citizens and visitors of Oklahoma. Both years he has been unsuccessful. This has been primarily due to the strong lobbying efforts of the various Law Enforcement Agencies. What our investigation has discovered is sure to upset both sides of this argument.