The Pros And Cons Of Civil Forfeiture

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Civil forfeiture was originally created with noble and worthwhile intentions. The goal was to battle against crime and budgetary restrictions at the same time, which is very logical. However, over the years civil forfeiture has been warped, and in many cases causes more harm than good. It is important to understand both the positive and negative aspects of civil forfeiture in order to see the big picture of the situation and be able to stand against the issue as a member of society. At its base, civil forfeiture is a law enforcement tool with many different functions. Fighting crime is expensive, and civil forfeiture can be used to undermine criminal activity and reimburse local law enforcement “without the need to seek additional outside resources” (Worrall, 2008). Law enforcement agencies tend to struggle with budget cuts, so civil forfeiture offers a leg to stand on. In 2011, Holcomb, Kovandzi and Williams stated in their research “almost forty (40) percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed to the statement that civil forfeiture is ‘necessary as a budget supplement’” (p. 275). Though civil forfeiture is often associated with drug enforcement, it can be applied to a variety of crime control, including illegal drug markets, nuisance properties, street racing, drunk driving and prostitution (Worrall, 2008). Civil forfeiture…show more content…
Worrall appropriately points out that “any effective crime control strategy needs to be balanced against the possible argument that it threatens people's rights” (2008). Though this is true, there are too many cases of unethical civil forfeiture to ignore the problem. Controversy will always surround civil forfeiture because it has “powerful economic consequences” (Worrall, 2008), but every aspect of civil forfeiture must be examined so society can both see the merits of the system and stand up against the

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