Delaware Lawmakers Seek to Eliminate Civil Forfeiture - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Lawmakers Seek to Eliminate Civil Forfeiture

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DOVER, Del. (AP)- Delaware lawmakers are introducing legislation to eliminate the practice of civil forfeiture, which allows police to seize property thought to be associated with criminal activity, even if the owner has not been convicted of, or arrested for, a crime.
    
Supporters of the bill say the government should not be allowed to take a person's property unless and until it proves the person did something wrong.
    
While bill sponsors say there is no evidence that Delaware police are abusing civil forfeiture laws, the process through which law enforcement agencies receive proceeds from the sale of seized property is shrouded in secrecy.
    
The Institute for Justice recently ranked Delaware among the worst states in the country regarding the extent to which civil forfeiture laws protect property rights or encourage "policing for profit."

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