A 1991 Pittsburgh Press mini-series
on forfeiture laws
by Andrew Schneider and Mary Pat Flaherty
This six-day series chronicles a frightening turn in the war on drugs.
Ten months of research across the country reveals that seizure and
forfeiture, the legal weapons meant to eradicate the enemy, have done
enormous collateral damage to the innocent. The reporters reviewed 25,000
seizures made by the DEA. They interviewed 1,600 prosecutors, defense
lawyers, cops, federal agents and victims.. They examined court documents
from 510 cases. What they found defines a new standard of justice in
America. You are presumed guilty.
Part 1: The Overview
Part 2: The Way You Look
Part 3: Innocent Owners
Part 4: The Informants
Part 5: Crime and Punishment
Part 6: Reforms
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on reform bill
Pending bill to reform forfeiture laws
American Rights (F.E.A.R.)
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants
shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime,
unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising
in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time
of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence
to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal
case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use,
without just compensation.
(from the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States