Nice paragraph today, the rest of the article is worth a read:
IN 2010 federal prosecutors seized nearly $2 billion in forfeited assets—that is, property deemed to be used in or derived from a crime. That is more than six times the amount seized just 21 years earlier. A 2010 report by the Institute for Justice explains that “legal procedures [tend to] make civil forfeiture relatively easy for the government and hard for property owners to fight.” In theory, asset forfeiture has some value: nobody wants to let people keep ill-gotten gains. In practice, however, the requirements for police to take someone’s property tend to be pretty flimsy: certainly flimsier than the standards for convicting them of a crime. And this disparity creates a troubling incentive, and some believe it violates Fifth Amendment protections against being deprived of property without due process.