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Article Preview: “Reforming Civil Asset Forfeiture”

Contributing Editor: Greg Mosher
Citizens who own property in Massachusetts, or pass through Massachusetts, are at a greater risk of having their property taken and sold by the Commonwealth than in almost any other state. As if Due Process no longer applies, the Commonwealth presumes the property itself guilty, seizes it, sells it, and uses the cold hard cash to pad police and prosecutor budgets. In Reforming Civil Asset Forfeiture: Ensuring Fairness and Due Process for Property Owners in Massachusetts, Charles Basler champions civil asset forfeiture laws that are nobler than The Commonwealth’s. He explains that among the states, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is an outlier. This is not because Massachusetts is the archetype of change or on the cutting edge of social justice, but because its civil asset forfeiture law is unusually similar to federal laws of yore that were repealed some time ago.