submitted by Green Monkey
In local news reports the US Ambassador is pushing for our legislation to allow for the seizure of assets gained from criminal activity as is allowed under US law. However, under US law you don’t have to be actually convicted of criminal wrongdoing to be deprived of assets, as the cops only have to say that they suspect the seized assets came from unlawful activity. The onus is then placed on the suspect to prove that the assets were gained lawfully or purchased with legally derived funds.
GreenMonkey is just wondering if Bajans might someday find themselves in similar predicaments. I hope that our legislation will specifically specify that assets can only be seized AFTER conviction for criminal activity.
See article below from the New Yorker:
Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?
by Sarah Stillman August 12, 2013 (full New Yorker article here)
On a bright Thursday afternoon in 2007, Jennifer Boatright, a waitress at a Houston bar-and-grill, drove with her two young sons and her boyfriend, Ron Henderson, on U.S. 59 toward Linden, Henderson’s home town, near the Texas-Louisiana border. They made the trip every April, at the first signs of spring, to walk the local wildflower trails and spend time with Henderson’s father. This year, they’d decided to buy a used car in Linden, which had plenty for sale, and so they bundled their cash savings in their car’s center console. Just after dusk, they passed a sign that read “Welcome to Tenaha: A little town with BIG Potential!”
They pulled into a mini-mart for snacks. When they returned to the highway ten minutes later, Boatright, a honey-blond “Texas redneck from Lubbock,” by her own reckoning, and Henderson, who is Latino, noticed something strange. The same police car that their eleven-year-old had admired in the mini-mart parking lot was trailing them. Near the city limits, a tall, bull-shouldered officer named Barry Washington pulled them over. Continue reading