To anyone educated in the law who has a general sense of reality and the principles of our United States government, it’s clear that there’s a real problem with civil asset forfeiture as it exists in this country. For the most part, those who support it are those who profit from it.
So how does it still exist? Well, whenever I talk to people about it, their general reaction is disbelief. As hard as it is for us who are involved to realize, most people don’t really get it.
This survey points out the problem.
Have you heard of the term “civil asset forfeiture”?
Yes . . . . . . . . . 28%
No . . . . . . . . . . 72%
Close to 3/4 of the population just don’t know about it.
But when they do…
Which of these three options comes closest to your opinion about what SHOULD be legal?
Law enforcement should be able to permanently seize money or other property if they suspect itâ€™s connected to criminal activity, even if no charges have been filed . . . . . 7%
If we continue to inform people, we should be able to change the law.
The poll found similar levels of support for who should benefit from forfeiture funding. Nationwide , 66 percent of Americans believe forfeiture funds should go either towards the stateâ€™s budget or to a separate fund (like education). Only 13 percent supported the idea that forfeiture proceeds should directly fund law enforcement.
Wide majorities across race, gender, income levels and political ideology back these two key reforms.