In considering the Court’s adherence to beloved legal fictions, one of which is that a grand jury indictment conclusively proves the existence of probable cause to believe that a crime occurred and the defendants committed the crime, the majority reduced the issue before it to an absurdity. What about the presumption of innocence? What about the right to counsel of choice? What about the constraints of forfeiture to the proceeds of crime?
Meh. It’s as if someone mumbled during their post argument conference, “you know, if we cut her a break, it’s going to look like we no longer have faith in grand jury indictments. Since everybody already knows they’re argle-bargle, that won’t end well. It looks like we have no choice here.” . . .
Then there is the substitute proceeds question, where the idea that what the government is seizing is the proceeds of crime gets blind-sided by the desire to grab anything they can get their hands on. And in whatever amount a prosecutor can claim based on his most fertile imagination. Reality has no place in forfeiture.
But what about due process, the opportunity for full and fair litigation of a disputed issue? Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids. Once the grand jury issued an indictment, there is nothing left to litigate. It’s sacred . . . .
. . . giving a defendant any opportunity to challenge the government’s advanced impoverishment would deprive the government of its critical interest in making sure that there were assets to be seized on the back-end, after the Catch-22 was completed upon conviction, thus proving how right they were to restrain the assets in the first place.
But that due process thing? That right to counsel thing? That Constitution thing? Stop complaining. The grand jury indicted, and that’s good enough reason to deprive a defendant of the money to fight. Get over it.