Civil Asset Forfeiture: Legalized Theft

These are some links to articles that were written by Liberty Unfiltered’s own Lily Dane for The Daily Sheeple on the topic of Civil Asset Forfeiture, otherwise known as Legalized Theft.

Justice Department Ends Participation in Civil Asset Forfeiture Program. Written in January 2015.

Two Civil Asset Forfeiture Lawsuits Settled in Nevada. Written in March 2014.

Civil Asset Forfeiture: You Don’t Own That!. Written in October 2013.

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Really Unconstitutional?. Written in September 2014.

Also, catch the latest episode of the Liberty Unfiltered podcast where Lily and Steve Long discuss that particular topic:

LIBERTY UNFILTERED: LEGALIZED THEFT

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Cops Ordered to Return Over $1 Million Seized From Innocent Woman – and Fed Gov Ordered to Pay Nearly $40k in Legal Fees

In 2012, Tara Mishra decided to invest over one million dollars in a nightclub.

Mishra gave the money to her future business partners, a married couple, to transport from California to New Jersey for her.

The couple was pulled over for speeding along the way.

What should have been a standard traffic stop completely turned Mishra’s life upside down.

The Nebraska state trooper who stopped the pair asked to search the vehicle, and the couple consented. Officers discovered Mishra’s cash in multiple plastic bags stuffed with $100 bills in $10,000 stacks.

The officer, suspecting drug involvement, called in drug-sniffing dogs. Trace amounts of illegal drugs were found on the bills. The officers felt this was enough reason to seize Mishra’s money, even though studies show that up to 90% of U.S. paper money contains traces of cocaine.  The couple was released without charges, but only after agreeing to relinquish the cash.

Mishra worked for many years to save the money and had the documentation to prove it. She also provided details about the agreement to invest in the nightclub in New Jersey. None of that was good enough for the authorities, who kept her money despite proof that she rightfully earned it, and despite that fact that she committed no crime.

Mishra filed a lawsuit in the federal district court in Nebraska and won. She was awarded $1.07 million, which covers the amount that was unlawfully seized from her plus interest.

Now U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon, the same judge who ordered police to return Mishra’s cash, has ordered the federal government to pay $39,035 to cover her legal fees.

Mishra’s ordeal happened because of civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow law enforcement to seize property that is suspected of being linked to criminal activity. One does not have to be charged with anything to permanently lose their cars, homes, or cash.

Here’s how civil asset forfeiture works:

A police officer pulls a car over for speeding.  The officer thinks he smells marijuana and seizes money and perhaps other property from the vehicle. The officer (or other law enforcement agent) writes and signs a statement or affidavit explaining the situation and reasons for the seizure of the property. That statement is used to show the courts the link between the alleged criminal behavior and the seized property.

Police often get to keep the money or other property they seize during a search. As you can imagine, they love buying new toys, taking vacations, and partying with the money they seize steal from citizens.

Thankfully, justice prevailed in Mishra’s case and she got back her hard-earned money, but she never should have had to go through the ordeal in the first place.

Is Our Legal System Based on the Ten Commandments?

You have probably heard a lot of people say that our current legal system is based on the Ten Commandments. This has come up recently because of a recent Oklahoma State Supreme Court decision to remove the Ten Commandments from the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The State Supreme Court made this decision because it violates the state’s constitutional ban against using public funds to benefit a religion.

Oklahoma State Governor Mary Fallin claims that the monument is there for its historical significance, since our country’s legal system is based on the Ten Commandments.

That is only partially true and is actually more untrue than it is true.

1. You shall have no other Gods before me.

Well, this one obviously is false because the First Amendment of the Constitution specifically calls for freedom of religion. This gives you the right to believe in any God you want. Or not to believe in any God.

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image or anything in the heavens or on the earth on in the sea.

Are there any laws against making idols? I don’t think so. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the government loves its idols. The American flag for instance. By saying you want to make laws (not that they have..yet) against burning the American flag you are basically saying that the flag itself is more important than freedom of expression. To me, that makes it something you want to worship.

3. You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

Nope, no laws against taking God’s name in vain.

4. Remember to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy.

No laws that prohibit working on Sunday. Or Saturday for that matter, depending on what day you consider the Sabbath.

5. Honor your father and mother.

No laws in our books that say you can’t talk back to your parents. Course, there are some laws that could put your parent’s in jail if you disrespect them and they slap you across the face.

6. You must not murder.

Ok, finally, here is a commandment that one could argue our legal code is based on. But isn’t that really any country’s legal code? Don’t most countries have laws against murder?

7. You must not commit adultery.

I could be wrong but I don’t think there are any laws in this country against cheating on your spouse.

8. You must not steal.

Okay, here’s another one that actually is a law. But again, most countries have laws against stealing another person’s property.

9. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.

There are no laws that would punish someone from lying. Unless, of course, you’re talking about perjury. I suppose a person could make a case for that.

10. You must not covet your neighbor’s house, or wife, or servants, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Okay, for those that don’t know what “covet” means, it’s basically an old way of saying you want something. So your friend has something and you want one of those. There’s no law against that.

So, let’s look at the score. 2 out of 10 commandments are part of America’s legal code. 20%.

So now do you think our legal system is based on the Ten Commandments?

I didn’t think so.

Ban All the Things! Political Correctness Is out of Control

Last week, a devastating tragedy occurred: a white man walked into one of the nation’s oldest black churches, opened fire, and killed nine people.

The suspect, Dylann Roof, has been arrested and charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Roof has been labeled a “right-wing terrorist,” and photos of him holding a Confederate flag and sitting on a car with a “confederate states of America” license plate have emerged.

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Is It Time for Civil Disobedience?

 

Ridiculous laws. Oppressive regulations. Widespread government corruption. Rampant police brutality. Excessive taxation.

Abuses of personal liberty have become commonplace in America, a country once known as the “land of the free.”

But are we partly to blame? After all, Americans have been voting for corrupt politicians for ages. Some justify this by saying they are voting for the “lesser of two evils,” but does that make sense? Isn’t that just choosing your own oppressors? By voting, are we validating a nefarious system?

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