Civil asset forfeiture, the process of law enforcement confiscating private property without charging its owner with a crime, is running rampant in Michigan today. Current law provides little in the way of oversight for or limits on its use, but a package of bills awaiting a vote in the Senate would provide transparency and some limits on its use.
On September 29, the Mackinac Center released a study, Civil Forfeiture in Michigan, detailing the many abuses of civil forfeiture, co-written with the ACLU of Michigan. Several media outlets have covered the study and the general push for reform.
The reform push has brought together unlikely partners from various sides of the political spectrum.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, in a joint report released this week, recommended eliminating civil asset forfeiture altogether, limiting the practice to post-conviction criminal cases.
But both groups are also supporting the Michigan bills now before the Senate, including the proposed reporting requirements and increased evidentiary standards.
The Midland Daily News also covered the effort, as did CBS Detroit, the Traverse City Record-Eagle, WOOD-TV, the Times Herald, WMMT, the Grand Haven Tribune, Click On Detroit, WXYZ, and the Petoskey News-Review.
Additionally, Mackinac Center Policy Analyst Jarrett Skorup, co-author of the Civil Forfeiture study, joined WKAR for an interview on the topic on October 1.
Skorup was also quoted in an editorial published by The Detroit News on October 5.
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