One of the worst parts of America’s asset forfeiture system is that for decades, our government has spent both taxpayer dollars and forfeited funds to spread asset forfeiture practices to other nations and legal systems. Keep in mind, these laws are designed to liberate the executive branch from the constraints of legislative oversight and appropriation, so where they are brought to places already suffering from poor governance, they enshrine a police state oligarchy.
I’ve been following the forfeiture stories coming out of Canada for quite a while now; today the Vancouver Sun reports:
B.C. officials are trying to seize properties using civil forfeiture legislation even though the owners have not been convicted of anything, says the BC Civil Liberties Association.
One example cited by the civil rights group involves a $3-million West Vancouver, B.C., home owned by a woman charged with — but not convicted of — human trafficking.
Another involves the home of a Vancouver Island man who was acquitted of growing marijuana because police violated his constitutional rights.
Civil liberties association policy director Micheal Vonn said the forfeiture applications appear to go beyond the intention of civil forfeiture legislation.
When the B.C. government introduced the legislation in 2006, the intent was to go after the assets of gangsters and criminals, Vonn said.
She pointed out that the Crown can apply in the criminal courts for forfeiture of a home once a person is convicted, but said the province is trying to seize homes before a conviction or even if a person is acquitted.
“This is quite problematic from the viewpoint of citizens,” Vonn said Wednesday. “It’s an end-run around our constitutional rights.”
Read the entire thing. Of note is also that very little of the money ends up directly compensating crime victims or used for restitution purposes and that tens of millions of dollars are retained opaquely by this law enforcement agency. Canadians would do well to reject these bad forfeiture laws and particularly the US DOJ apparatchiks who come bearing these toxic gifts.