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June 29, 2022
Lawmakers in Kansas are considering a pair of civil asset forfeiture bills that would significantly affect the ability of police to seize cash, vehicles and other property they believe is connected to a crime.
The first bill, HB2648, would require a criminal conviction before the seizure of any crime-related assets from an individual. The second bill, HB2640, creates a new procedure for seizing and forfeiting an individual’s property to the government for property valued at less than $100,000. It would also bar the seizure of cash under $200, and vehicles valued at $2,000 or less.
Currently, law enforcement can seize property from people who have not yet been convicted of a crime, and even people who are acquitted can still lose their property in civil asset forfeiture. The practice has come under more public scrutiny recently, as the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana makes the seizure of cash more legally complex in many places.
Officials say the current civil asset forfeiture process acts as an effective deterrent for would-be criminals. KBI officer Robert Jacobs testified that the current laws “deter and prevent criminal activity by taking proceeds away from those conducting criminal enterprises.”
Jacobs also testified that the proceeds from asset forfeiture help fund law enforcement. “…Law enforcement struggles with funding” and “forfeiture revenue is used to supplement law enforcement operation,” Jacobs said.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CJONLINE.COM