More on the importance of civil asset forfeiture – this one from the Harvard Journal on Legislation by Mark Osler, entitled “Asset Forfeiture in a New Market Reality Narcotics Policy.”
Osler is a former Federal prosecutor and current law professor, who to some may also be viewed as a harsh critic of the current criminal justice system. His solution, however: focus on forfeiture. And, pay attention . . . civil forfeiture.
He suggests that law enforcement agencies should be viewing drug trafficking organizations for what they are, large-scale businesses in a sophisticated industry. The focus, then, should be simple – aim to disrupt what is the lifeblood of every business: its cash flow. How? Civil forfeiture. Take out a business’ low skill labor, he writes, and the business quickly and easily replaces that labor. Cut off its cash flow, and the business dies.
According to Osler, we should make civil forfeiture “a primary rather than a secondary tactic in continuing the fight against illegal narcotics. Such an effort would simultaneously address two problems: mass incarceration and the continuing problem of drug trafficking and abuse,” (at pg. 243).
Fun read. Fascinating proposal.
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