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by Peter Moskos

November 18, 2015

Just cause it's legal don't make it right

Sometimes it's fun to play a bit fast and loose with the numbers to make a greater point:
By 2014, [civil asset forfeiture] had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year.... According to the FBI, the total amount of [reported] goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.
Is this a valid comparison? Kinda sorta not really. But hopefully it did get your attention. Because something is wrong with massive civil forfeiture. And this is one way to look at it.
(Though the fact checker in me would like to verify the burglary stats.)

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