Ending the practice of civil asset forfeiture, the practice of law enforcement seizing possessions, property or cash from someone believed to be involved in criminal activity, but without necessarily charging the owners with any wrongdoing, was one of bigoted Colin Bonini’s better ideas last session and during his failed gubernatorial campaign. He should stick to advocating for his new bill and for the legalization of marijuana to burnish those libertarian credentials rather than trying to out-bigot the soon to be expelled David Lawson. Anyway…
His new bill, SB60, does not change the authority of law enforcement to seize property suspected of being associated with crime or limit in any way prosecutors’ ability to charge and prosecute suspected criminals. Moreover, it ensures that those individuals proven guilty of a crime do not keep the fruits of their crime. But it does require that in order for assets to be seized you first need a conviction of a crime that subjects the property to forfeiture. So if there is not a criminal violation charged, there can be no forfeiture.
SPONSORS: Bonini, Bushweller, Baumbach, Keeley, Hansen, Hocker, Lawson, Lopez, McDowell, Pettyjohn, Simpson, Bennett, Bentz, Briggs King, J.Johnson, Kowalko, Lynn, Outten, Paradee, B.Short
HISTORY: Placed in the Senate Judicial & Community Affairs Committee on 4/5/17
STATUS: Waiting on a hearing in committee.