It appears that The Post condones the practice of seizing assets [“Back in the seizure business,” editorial, April 23] without charging victims of seizures with any crime. The editorial board’s justification for this very troublesome practice by federal and local law enforcement agencies was that there are some “legitimate reasons for the practice.” Well, notwithstanding probable cause, asset forfeiture actions taken by law enforcement without warrants violate the wording and intent of the Fourth Amendment prohibition of “unreasonable searches and seizures.” This wording is clear, without caveats.
Judges and prosecutors resort to some arcane decisions and reasons to allow law enforcement agencies to circumvent Fourth Amendment strictures. The enforcement agencies are then at liberty to indiscriminately prey upon the guilty-as-hell and innocent alike to seize their assets. These premature seizures supplement agency budgets because the motivation, as with thieves, is money. Carrying out justice and protecting individuals’ rights be damned. No apologies, either. The assets of innocent victims are returned to them in only extremely rare instances.
John K. Lambert, Silver Spring