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Attorney General's Civil Asset Forfeiture Orders Are 'Irrelevant' in Philadelphia

Jeff Sessions has ordered prosecutors to continue seizing property from suspects, even if they haven’t been charged with a crime, to help finance law enforcement practices. Philadelphia is moving in the opposite direction.
relates to Attorney General's Civil Asset Forfeiture Orders Are 'Irrelevant' in Philadelphia
(AP Photo/John Locher)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a stink last week when he announced he was revamping policies that allow federal law enforcement officials to seize property from suspects—even if those suspects haven’t been charged or convicted of a crime. These policies have been heavily scrutinized by liberals and conservatives in recent years given that the funds from these seizures have been used and abused to pad the coffers of law enforcement agencies for decades. No less a pro-policing outlet than the National Review even called asset forfeiture a “constitutionally questionable practice,” that Sessions should reconsider.

Which helps explain why on the same week of Sessions’s announcement, the city of Philadelphia announced it was moving in the opposite direction of the Attorney General on this matter. The state of Pennsylvania is not far behind it. Not only that but nearly half of the states in the U.S. have also been passing laws to curb asset forfeiture policies.