The NYT has a story on the reprehensible law enforcement practice known as civil asset forfeiture.

I’ve written about this many times before, so I’ll keep my comments here brief. CAF is the epitome of government gone wrong. There are few, if any, practices by the government that violate more and more important rights than civil asset forfeiture. Private property is stolen by the government – some would call that nationalization – and it is done with absolutely no due process. Private property and due process are perhaps the two most important aspects of a rational, lawful society.

Furthermore, the reasons why civil asset forfeiture occurs add insult to grievous injury. This is from a prosecutor defending the practice:

“I’m not saying that that doesn’t happen — it does. It should not. But they never hear about all the people that get stopped with the drugs in their cars, in their houses, the manufacturing operations we see, all the useful things we do with the money, the equipment, vehicles. They don’t hear about that.”

So CAF happens because police forces need money. Put differently: the essential fabric of rational society is destroyed because some cop needs a new cruiser. It is noteworthy that when other people – non-police – steal stuff they go to jail. There is no possible way to justify this behavior.

I always find myself at a complete loss for words powerful enough to describe the absurdity of this.

-JD Cross