August 21, 2006

Causus Toss'm Out

There are reason's a plenty to toss out the current us federal office holders, all of them, and most of the domestic reasons get lost behind the bloody headlines of democracy's international warfare.

Radley Balko at The Agitator provides near daily, oft multiple times a day, examples of federal, state and local government representatives abusing individuals, families and associations of individuals.

Asset forfeiture llegislation is a particularly heinous weapon in the government arsonal of extortion and theft tools and today Balko highlites a particularly onerous use of asset forfeiture:

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that police may keep the $124,700 they seized from Emiliano Gonzolez, an immigrant who by all appearances was attempting to use the money to start a legitimate business.

This is an outrageous ruling. Consider:

# Gonzolez was never charged with any crime in relation to the money, much less convicted.

# Gonzalez had an explanation for the money that a lower court found both "plausible" and "consistent." He brought several witnesses forward to corroborate his story (in the preposterous land of asset forfeiture, property can be guilty of a crime, and the burden is often person the police seized the property from to prove he obtained it legally).

# The government offered no evidence to counter Gonzolez's explanation.

Instead, the court ruled that the mere fact that Gonzolez was carrying a large sum of money, that he had difficulty understanding the officer's questions, that he incorrectly answered some of those questions (due, Gonzolez says, to fears that if police knew he was carrying that much money, they might confiscate it -- imagine that!), and that a drug dog alerted to the car Gonzolez was driving (which, as dissenting judge Donald Lay noted, was a rental, likely driven by dozens of people before Gonzolez), was enough to "convict" the money of having drug ties, even if there wasn't enough evidence to charge Gonzolez.

Read the rest of the post and Balko has the link to the opinion.

Yep, part and parcel of the immoral war on drugs which is itself plenty of reason to convict every participant of crimes against humanity.

Posted by Steve on August 21, 2006
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