U.S. Civil Rights Commission cites NPRI research in call for civil asset forfeiture reform

In a recent announcement calling for civil asset forfeiture reform at the federal level, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights cited research from the Nevada Policy Research Institute as evidence of the harms caused by the practice.

Specifically, the Commission — an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency — condemned forfeiture as having "racially disproportionate outcomes" that leaves most victims with "no practical way to contest the seizure of such assets," based on NPRI research.

Civil asset forfeiture is a practice whereby law enforcement can seize property — and personally profit from its subsequent forfeiture — without even charging the owner with a crime. By imposing the presumption of guilt on innocent property owners who have had their property seized, civil asset forfeiture perverts one of the foundational principles of the U.S. justice system, according to NPRI policy analyst Daniel Honchariw.

NPRI is thrilled to learn that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has joined the overwhelming, bipartisan consensus of those calling for an end to civil asset forfeiture.

"The principle of being innocent until proven guilty is a bedrock of the U.S. justice system and must be defended at all costs," says Honchariw. "The Commission is correct to call for an end to the abusive and un-American practice of civil asset forfeiture, and we are honored to have produced research that has helped shine a light on how the program actually operates."

Click here to read the NPRI report cited by the Commission and here to read more on forfeiture from NPRI.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Michael Schaus at 702.222.0642 or email at ms@npri.org.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank that promotes policy ideas consistent with the principles of limited government, individual liberty and free markets. To learn more, visit www.npri.org.

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