New Survey: Over Two-Thirds of California Voters Oppose Asset Forfeiture

forfeiture-general-040616By TJ Martinell

One thing Californians agree on is their opposition to laws that allow law enforcement to seize and keep people’s cash and property merely for being suspects of a crime, also known as asset forfeiture (learn more here).

That’s according to a two new surveys by the Public Policy Polling. The surveys found “overwhelming statewide and local opposition” to asset forfeiture laws. Over two-thirds of voters surveyed (82 percent) opposed these laws compared to 14 percent in favor of them.

Opposition to asset forfeiture also transcended party lines. Roughly the same amount of Democrats, Republicans and independents expressed aversion to the idea that our property rights don’t apply when someone is suspected of crime – even if they’re never convicted.

Their support is not due to voter ignorance, as PPP also found that “opposition to civil asset forfeiture laws strengthens as voters learn more about them” and very few changed their minds after hearing law enforcement arguments justifying these laws. Maybe that’s because 17 percent of those surveyed knew someone who had lost property to police without a conviction.

Although California has asset forfeiture restrictions, a loophole allows local police to pass off cases to the federal government, while still getting up to 80 percent of the proceeds obtained through civil forfeiture.

A bill introduced last year in the California state Senate would rein in these practices by law enforcement agencies. After passing the Senate by a wide margin, SB 443 was hit by massive opposition and delays in the Assembly. It was pulled from the “inactive file” this week and a final Assembly vote is expected in coming days.

California residents should contact their Assemblymember and insist the loophole be closed once and for all.

There’s also a Facebook group to support SB443 – HERE.

TJ Martinell is a Seattle-based reporter and author of the Orwellian novel The Stringers. Visit his personal site at tjmartinell.com. He writes for The Tenth Amendment Center.

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4 Comments on "New Survey: Over Two-Thirds of California Voters Oppose Asset Forfeiture"

  1. Who are the one third that support it?
    The cops, judges lawyers, politicians, bureaucrat and others on the receiving end of this gravy train?

  2. Michael Pece | May 28, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Reply

    Just another tax by the government (albeit) an extreme tax to help Police Departments to pay for the Swat Teams to serve warrants/ and smash in doors to harass innocent citizens and also shoot any dog they see in the home they just broke into, to pay overtime to everyone, to buy gear and keep those personnel carriers and tanks in working conditions. It’s all a scam.

  3. Every state should have a law restricting this on the ballot. It is BS. Don’t forget Trump wants to use eminent domain on us [taking private property for benefit of business].

  4. Caws – Trump wants to put folks back on the gravy train.
    BillHillary wants all that you have.
    This “law” is another way to take what you have.
    Consider most judges,lawyers, congressionals are always on the take.
    Agenda 2030 (formerly known as 21) will not permit anyone to own anything and charge outrages prices for a pos apartment.

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