An enormous injustice that is not entirely addressed by Senator Loveless’ bill, though it is a positive step at addressing this outright brigandry.
For readers unfamiliar with this concept of Asset Forfeiture, it is simply a cop’s ability to take cash, cars, and other property, if he suspects that the property is in some way connected to the drug trade. Even if there is no conviction for the crime you are accused of, the police force may keep this property and use it to enrich themselves, even paying off someone’s personal student loans as seen in a recent case.
Any wonder why they are so dedicated to opposing reforms?
And maybe, if you are flying down I-95 with thirty grand in cash stashed away in your car, yeah, it might very well have something to do with drugs. However, that does not matter, as we are innocent until proven guilty.
The system of asset forfeiture turns justice on it’s head; it implies that we are guilty until proven innocent, that is, if we can prove ourselves innocent at all. Proving ourselves innocent is often a costly and long legal battle which isn’t even worth the effort.
Asset forfeiture is a blatant violation of our natural right to property and violates one of the provisions on that big stone that Oklahoma legislators are fighting so hard to keep in place: thou shalt not steal.
Just as we should fight for the right to life without contradictions, just as we should fight for the right to liberty without contradictions, we should also fight for the right to property, without contradictions. One is essential to all the rest.
The Oath Keepers and supporters claim this is necessary in the war on drugs. We must fight the cartels! But it is the war on drugs that has sustained the violent cartel drug trafficking, just as prohibition sustained the mafia in the 1920s.
There will always be a demand for such illicit products; the question is, would we rather have production done by legitimate, peaceful enterprises, or by violent ones? If we wish the former, we should end this senseless war.
But the silly war on drugs must be continued; there is lots of profit to be made out of it.