Politics

Oregon earns a C+ for its civil forfeiture laws

“These percentages are lower than those of most other states, but they still represent a sizable incentive to seize”.

Oregon law enforcement agencies are required to report details of seized and forfeited property to the Asset Forfeiture Oversight Advisory Committee, which aggregates the data and publishes annual reports online. However, data are missing for 2009 and 2012 because the AFOAC did not have adequate funding to collect and compile reports during those years–even though forfeiture proceeds may have averaged more than $1 million annually between 2009 and 2013. In most cases, the government bears the burden of disproving an innocent owner claim, unless money or weapons are found in close proximity to drugs; in such cases, owners bear the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the property neither derived from nor played a part in a drug crime. Finally, Oregon agencies get to keep 62.5 percent of forfeiture proceeds when a case is brought by local law enforcement, and 57 percent when a case is brought by a state agency.

Original Article (Institute for Justice):
Oregon earns a C+ for its civil forfeiture laws
Artwork by: Shawn Leah

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