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Lunch Break Read: Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuses in PA

During your lunch break today, be sure to check out this post on a new report exposing civil asset forfeiture abuses in Pennsylvania by FreedomWorks’ Jason Pye.

Here is a quick preview:

Pennsylvania’s long-awaited, all-encompassing civil asset forfeiture reform bill was introduced in the Senate in bipartisan fashion. Just before the bill was introduced, the Commonwealth’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union released a shocking study detailing the abuse of civil asset forfeiture by overzealous law enforcement and prosecutors in Philadelphia.

The report not only sheds light on how the egregious tool is used against innocent property owners, but also the complexity of forfeiture proceedings. This complexity deters people, not even charged with a crime, from fighting to get wrongfully seized items back.

In the report, Guilty Property: How Law Enforcement Takes $1 Million in Cash from Innocent Philadelphians Every Year — and Gets Away with It, the ACLU of Pennsylvania found that some 6,000 forfeiture cases are filed each year in the City of Brotherly Love. “This enforcement activity,” the report explains, “results in the forfeiture of some 100 homes, 150 vehicles, and roughly $4 million in cash each year, for a total of around $5 million in annual income.”

The legal requirement to challenge a forfeiture proceeding is set up to overwhelmingly benefit the local government. Under Pennsylvania law, seized property is considered guilty until proven innocent by the owner, who does not even need to be charged with a crime. In addition, prosecutors and law enforcement are allowed to keep proceeds from forfeitures, creating a perverse profit motive.

Read the full post at FreedomWorks.org. 

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with CloutHub.com, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a BlazeTV.com host, Outreach Director with FreedomWorks.org overseeing its Empower.org outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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