US Marshalls proposed asset forfeiture surpasses even the Nazis


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antarti
April 7, 2006, 05:09 PM
http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8GR6IM04.html

"I've been doing this for over 30 years and I have never heard of anything like this," said Richard J. Troberman, a forfeiture specialist and past president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "It sounds like Nazi Germany when they were removing the gold teeth from the bodies, but at least then they waited until they were dead."

I couldn't agree more.

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Don't Tread On Me
April 7, 2006, 05:19 PM
Anyone arguing that we are not living under a tyrannical government -


checkmate.


We've read perhaps thousands of examples of government abuse, incompetence, evils, and jack booted thuggery...but quite honestly, this takes the cake. This is pretty low. I mean, this basically allows the free use of the label "nazi" to be used in describing segments of our government. You can argue about no-knocks, law enforcement, excessive use of force..those have 2 sides to the coin, but trying to take gold from teeth is pure Naziesque style.


Now, who here thinks that a government who wants to take gold from teeth isn't capable of taking your guns away? Anyone?

Henry Bowman
April 7, 2006, 05:23 PM
In all fairness, the US Attorney though that they just snapped out and were like a piece of jewelry worn on teeth. However, I have a huge problem with the whole asset seizure concept.

Biker
April 7, 2006, 05:25 PM
I don't scare easily, but this...

Biker

antarti
April 7, 2006, 05:27 PM
Biker,

Well said.

I rarely start threads.... but this...

neoncowboy
April 7, 2006, 05:29 PM
Feds Wanted To Seize Suspects' Gold Tooth Caps

POSTED: 2:19 pm EDT April 7, 2006

TACOMA, Wash. -- Two drug suspects in Washington state nearly had some unwanted dental work.

Government lawyers tried to confiscate the gold tooth caps from the mouths of the two men, saying the dental work qualified as seizable assets.

The two were in a vehicle on the way to a dental clinic by the time a judge was persuaded to stop the procedure.

Lawyers and documents from the case say that prosecutors had a warrant to seize the gold dental work, but they eventually abandoned the effort.

As it turns out, the caps -- which can cost tens of thousands of dollars for a full set -- weren't removable. Defense lawyers said the gold is permanently bonded to teeth and could cause damage if removed.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle said prosecutors were "under the impression that these snapped out like a retainer."

The gold-capped teeth known as "grills" have been made popular by some rappers.

The federal prosecutors wanted them from the two suspects as possible evidence.

exar
April 7, 2006, 05:31 PM
That does look bad, Nazi Germany was exactly what came to mind when I saw that. When they found out the caps where permenant, I'm surprised they had enough restraint to not pull the teeth.

antarti
April 7, 2006, 05:35 PM
When they found out the caps where permenant, I'm surprised they had enough restraint to not pull the teeth.

Umm... that's the thing. A lawyer got a judge involved to stop it.

They were on their way to a dentist to have them removed. Which also kinda throws water on that "snaps in and out" excuse of theirs. Why not just remove it then... instead of sending them to a dentist to have them removed?

Don't Tread On Me
April 7, 2006, 05:37 PM
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle said prosecutors were "under the impression that these snapped out like a retainer."



And this has what to do with the concept of confiscating gold teeth? Who cares whether or not they are permanent or removable - it doesn't change the DESIRE and MOTIVE of the JBTs.



Red herring folks. They're good at it, real good.

antarti
April 7, 2006, 06:18 PM
Correct.

Also, notice that this person had no due process yet. Innocent until guilty anyone?

This might open the way for say, kidney removals on arrest, which probably (despite gold's recent gains) are more lucrative.

tellner
April 7, 2006, 06:24 PM
And just today Alberto "Torture and Spy" Gonzalez declared that Ceasar can tap all phone calls and emails between US citizens in this country without a warrant or probable cause. And no law that Congress passes can restrict that power. And neither can the courts because the President is the one who interprets the law.

"The Deacon drank
The Deacon cursed.
Though he still quoted Sacred Verse.
He was Sheriff, Judge, He owned the hearse.

Not a man to anger"

Alex45ACP
April 7, 2006, 06:27 PM
Please, vote Libertarian before it is too late.

gc70
April 7, 2006, 06:42 PM
The federal prosecutors wanted them from the two suspects as possible evidence.Sure...as evidence of what?

Sindawe
April 7, 2006, 06:43 PM
Also, notice that this person had no due process yet. Innocent until guilty anyone?None needed, since the person is not being charged under asset forfeiture. It the property that is being considered tainted, and property does not have rights. But the government will graciously allow the former owner of the property to contest the seizure, provied they post a bond (10% of value IIRC) to get their day in court.

Todays lesson brought to you by the letters W, O and D. :uhoh:

JohnBT
April 7, 2006, 07:08 PM
"...a judge was persuaded to stop the procedure."

Gee, imagine that, our system works.

JT

Autolycus
April 7, 2006, 07:11 PM
What a wonderful world we live in. Our government now wants to take body parts. How wonderful...:barf:

Originally Posted by Alex45ACP
Please, vote Libertarian before it is too late.

It may already be to late. But I will vote Libertarian from now on. I voted for Bush in the last election and I regret it. I will no longer vote Republican or Democrat because neither party objects to this kind of behavior. Or if they do, they do not do it openly.

Sam Adams
April 7, 2006, 07:15 PM
None needed, since the person is not being charged under asset forfeiture. It the property that is being considered tainted, and property does not have rights. But the government will graciously allow the former owner of the property to contest the seizure, provied they post a bond (10% of value IIRC) to get their day in court.

The tactic of charging a piece of property with "being tainted" or some such thing is nonsense which, of course, is why the courts have allowed it for several decades.

I wonder if some smart lawyer could make the argument that a "criminal gun" didn't want to be confiscated, and decided to shoot itself at some officers? The reasoning is similar - if property can commit one crime, then it can commit a different crime. If you charge it in one case, you have to charge it in the other.

Some judges really need to retire or be impeached, so that people who understand plain English, common sense and our rights can actually be in a position to protect everyone's rights - property and otherwise.

tjbert47
April 7, 2006, 07:33 PM
Just one of the problems we have had pushed on us by the war on drugs. If you want to kill yourself with that stuff just do it. But I'm tired of paying for that failed war.

Tom in TN

Bartholomew Roberts
April 7, 2006, 08:01 PM
Those of you who thought this was comparable to Nazi Germany...could you point me to the part in Nazi history where your state-appointed defense lawyer gets to go the court and get an order defying the will of the state?

Those of us who do favor less government and more civil liberties would really appreciate it if the word "Nazi" was reserved for those few occasions were it actually captured the horror of the systematic extermination of entire races as policy. Pretty soon they will do something worthy of the word "Nazi" and nobody will even blink when you point it out because the power of the word will have been defused by its frequent and erroneous use.

Standing Wolf
April 7, 2006, 09:24 PM
The federal prosecutors wanted them from the two suspects as possible evidence.

"Possible evidence" of what, precisely?

Double Naught Spy
April 7, 2006, 10:12 PM
And thank you Bartholomew Roberts for helping to recenter things here.

Let's see, the thread's title is misleading. Nothing was said about the US Marshalls' proposed asset forfeiture surpassing the Nazis. The pulling of the grills is nothing akin to stripping gold fillings from the dead, such as those in concentration camps.

"It sounds like Nazi Germany when they were removing the gold teeth from the bodies, but at least then they waited until they were dead."

Apparently, the lawyer thinks the mass execution of millions by the Nazis wasn't so bad because the Nazis were good enough not to take the gold until after they murdered people. Just on the obvious gross level of scale, he is suggesting that the attempted seizure of the grills was worse than what the Nazis were doing? Did I miss something or aren't his clients still alive?

The connection with the Nazis is bogus and is a ploy to make his clients look like the victims.

If he wants to complain, he should wait until his clients aren't his clients, but are summarily executed after long term starvation, work, and lack of adequate facilities. Then, after dying, some equally emaciated prisoner will come in with pliers and pull those teeth (still remaining) from the corpses under the watchful eye of machinegun toting guards, the near hairless naked bodies being scooted around like garbage as the prisoner is made to yank the teeth with fillings from prisoners he may have actually known, realizing his fate is no different.

Comparing his possible gangbanger clients with bling dental work (of which there is a whole variety that can be removed, changed out for different versions to match one's dress for the day, if desired) with the Polish, Jews, Gypsies, and other groups Germany killed in mass for no reason other than heritage really sort of discounts all that horror to being nothing of consequence except a little inconvenience.

I am sure Toberman doesn't have much known history of his family being executed by the Nazis.

JoeSF
April 7, 2006, 10:21 PM
America: A guy makes money selling drugs to kids,gets caught goes to jail assets siezed, has gold tooth replaced with composite.

Nazi Germany: guy gets arrested for nothing, starved gassed cooked and has teeth pulled.

The A hole lawyer and his perp client are two of the reasons I own plenty of guns.

Biker
April 7, 2006, 11:24 PM
I agree that 'Nazi' will lose it's impact much as racist, sexist, xenophobe and anti-semite have.
It's the 'Boy Who Called Wolf' syndrome.

Biker

Don't Tread On Me
April 7, 2006, 11:32 PM
Those of you who thought this was comparable to Nazi Germany...could you point me to the part in Nazi history where your state-appointed defense lawyer gets to go the court and get an order defying the will of the state?

Flawed argument.

To be Naziesque, you need not be deprived of counsel. What makes one Nazi-like is their behavior and policies, not what you (the victim) have or don't have as a mechanism for defense. It is the nature of the authority that is Nazi-ish, not the condition of the victim.

Those of us who do favor less government and more civil liberties would really appreciate it if the word "Nazi" was reserved for those few occasions were it actually captured the horror of the systematic extermination of entire races as policy.

That's the politically correct approach. It is like reserving any discussion to the civil war as a context for making race/civil rights arguments only.

So by that logic, the only time I can call the government Nazis is when they actually march people into gas chambers. It will be too late then. But to be fair in my criticism, I must wait for the materialization of ultimate evil. Or more accurately, the logical conclusion of the current path to tyranny that we're on right now.



Pretty soon they will do something worthy of the word "Nazi" and nobody will even blink when you point it out because the power of the word will have been defused by its frequent and erroneous use.

Pretty soon? Try now.

Respectfully disagreed. I already consider most of my government as being too Nazi for my tastes (although not full-blown Nazis just yet). This confiscation attept of gold teeth strikes yet another startling similarity between them and the Nazis of the past.

Now, it isn't I who labels the government, nor I who creates their image. It is their actions, policies and behavior that mimics the Nazis. If they don't want to be called JBT's or Nazis, perhaps they should reconsider taking peoples teeth and doing many of the various things the Nazis did.

As for not blinking...

I feel as though we all suffer from a little bit of the slow-boil frog syndrome. We've come a long way down the road of tyranny, yet we keep on debating whether or not our government is rotten yet. Like the Jews of 1940's Germany, we'll only come to a consensus when we are being marched into the gas chambers. That's the sad part about us. We are so willing to overlook things and give the benefit of the doubt over and over and over because of our good-nature. Those poor souls kept denying what was really happening even up the the last few days.

That will not happen here. Never again! (and I am not Jewish).


Don't ever believe because we are "America" that it cannot happen here. It can happen anywhere as rulers are universally corruptable and have the potential for limitless evil.

Art Eatman
April 7, 2006, 11:52 PM
I only recently learned about this mouth-jewelry shtick. So: If they're snap-in, like my partial plates :), they're no different than earrings. Jewelry. Subject to forfeiture under the WOD laws.

Devil's advocate: Let a dentist determine if they're truly permanent-bond or snap-in. If the guys used the sort of glue that's common for holding in a dental plate, then, no, they're not permanent and the guys are lying.

Now, I think the "arrest the money" stuff is BS. I don't care what the law says; I don't care about judges' decisions about Constitutionality: It's just flat-out unAmerican. It contravenes the whole idea of this country, where you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty and not lose your property until after a court decision has been rendered.

But to even begin consider the use of the word "Nazi" is foolish in the extreme. In the world of "Nazi", the mouth-jewelry would have been pocketed as personal property of the SS agents who first saw it. No lawyers would have been involved. Just two dead bodies in the gutter. And no witnesses...

Art

orangeninja
April 8, 2006, 12:01 AM
Heck, I have no problem with removing them. Give me some pliers, I'll be the Nazi.:D

3rdpig
April 8, 2006, 12:10 AM
Those of us who do favor less government and more civil liberties would really appreciate it if the word "Nazi" was reserved for those few occasions were it actually captured the horror of the systematic extermination of entire races as policy. Pretty soon they will do something worthy of the word "Nazi" and nobody will even blink when you point it out because the power of the word will have been defused by its frequent and erroneous use.

Too late, it has already lost it's meaning to most under 30 thanks to the constant misuse. To most now it means "harsh" or "extreme". Everyone needs to take a look at the pics from Auschwitz to remember what the word really means. But since images like that traumitize the frail minds of our children they'll never see them in school. Along with other dangerous images, like Nick Berg getting his head cut off and the Twin Towers falling, they are just too disturbing to view, they could damage young minds.

We mangle the language and change the meaning of words, then we cower and run from the images that would remind us of exactly what the true meaning of the words are.

I feel we have a long and hard road to travel before we learn the lesson we will eventually have to learn to survive.

orangeninja
April 8, 2006, 12:32 AM
I'm not going to get involved, but I recommend everyone thinking that this is really Nazi like read a book called "Holocaust" by Mike Jacobs. It will give you a little perspective on this word "Nazi" that everyone seems to like to banter about in this board so freely.


Free thy caged ignorance....seek to be educated.

antarti
April 8, 2006, 01:50 AM
Those of you who thought this was comparable to Nazi Germany...could you point me to the part in Nazi history where your state-appointed defense lawyer gets to go the court and get an order defying the will of the state?

If removing and confiscating gold teeth is "the will of the state", then you have answered your own question, and need nothing further from me.

I started the thread. I never used the word "holocaust". I never implied that the teeth were slated to be transferred to a Swiss bank. I used "Nazi" because I was quoting the defense lawyer, and I think his quote was appropos given the circumstances.

This is not Nazi Germany... don't we expect better juddgement than this from the US Marshalls?

Quite frankly, I believe the State yanking somebody's teeth as "assets" is pretty darn fascist, if not outright "Nazi" behavior. I am (at least) pretty certain there is little "American" about it. IMHO the term "Nazi" for this behavior, is not out-of-bounds. It does remind one of a certain failed National Socialist dictatorship, no matter how you choose to spin it.

Is the argument that since it was done for money that it's Capitalist? Or that since our government is a Republic that it must be good?

I am also pretty certain that my (unfortunate or not) parroting the lawyers choice of words is far less harmful to the collective psyche of millions of people than the actual mindset and resulting actions of the arresting Marshalls will be to more Americans.

I've never felt even a twinge of "sorry" for drug dealers or their lawyers. This actually made me glad for them that a judge ruled anything in their behalf. Sad, isn't it?

If the boot fits, wear it.

JohnBT
April 8, 2006, 08:10 PM
"don't we expect better juddgement than this from the US Marshalls?"

Everybody makes a mistake now and then. That's why we have all these ckecks and balances. Perfection is only a goal to strive for, don't expect to attain it.

John

riverdog
April 8, 2006, 08:30 PM
In a Nazi state, the judge would not have become involved at all -- neither would the dentist have been necessary. Just three or four guys and a good set of pliers and "there you go, that didn't hurt much did it". Hell, if the guy fought too much a concussion from falling down some stairs or tripping into a wall would have quieted him down.

What happened in this non-event cannot be considered in the same league as what happened under the Nazis -- not even close. Anyone making the comparison needs to watch the History Channel.

DesertRat
April 8, 2006, 08:30 PM
:rolleyes:

I don't have alot of sympathy for these maggots. What about when drug dealers steal the souls of innocent youngsters who get hooked on their junk? Or what about when they execute others over deals gone wrong, greed, etc?

OTOH, I wouldn't waste the gov't. time / money on retrieving those things either because what is it really worth once its been pulled. I mean really - who's going to want to reuse that stuff for jewelry or anything else for that matter once they know where its been.

WvaBill
April 8, 2006, 08:40 PM
"It sounds like Nazi Germany when they were removing the gold teeth from the bodies, but at least then they waited until they were dead."

I don't think the Nazis "waited" until they were dead, but killed them before stripping fillings.

armedandsafe
April 8, 2006, 09:10 PM
"Learn something new every day."

I have learned today that the Nazis were soooooo evil that anything done in the United States of America is acceptable practice. :banghead:

Pops

MillCreek
April 8, 2006, 09:45 PM
I have always thought it remarkable that when you consider 20th Century murderous dictators, Stalin and Mao rank right up there with Hitler, or on a per-capita basis, Pol Pot. It is curious that people rarely, if ever, refer to 'Stalin's Soviet Union', 'Mao's China' or 'Pol Pot's Cambodia' to make the same sort of comparison as by using Nazi Germany. I am sure there must be some sort of fascinating sociological explanation for this.

antarti
April 8, 2006, 09:50 PM
I don't have alot of sympathy for these maggots. What about when drug dealers steal the souls of innocent youngsters who get hooked on their junk? Or what about when they execute others over deals gone wrong, greed, etc?

I agree 100%. I expect thuggish behavior from somebody who would have no ethical trouble peddling poison to kids. I am happy when they are arrested and get whatever a jury decides.

I am not, however, expecting that somebody arrested for a crime be sent to a dentist to have any silver/gold dental work yanked out as part of an "asset forfeiture", only to pad the account of the arresting agency.

There is "innocent until proven guilty" (due process). How will this person (if its a bad arrest) be "made whole" (pardon the pun) afterward? Returning the teeth with the dead roots hanging out doesn't exactly strike me as an apology. Not everybody arrested is guilty...

In fact, you have to wonder at the mind that even thought to do this, given the parallels with the last people who did.

Perp? Got 'im!
Car? check!
House? check!
Wad o cash? check!
Frozen all his accounts yet? check!

Pulled his gold toofs yet? <== huh? How did we (collectively) get here from there?

If they can do it to one they can/will do it to others.


Free thy caged ignorance....seek to be educated.

I agree.

Don't like the choice of words, fine. Offer an alternative, or what you feel is "acceptable" or appropos. If you think "Fascist" or "SS-like" or "National Socialist Goon Squad with little mustaches" is better, suggest it.

You read "I Shall Bear Witness" and other first hand accounts to help free yourself. The Nazi's didn't turn Germany upside down in an afternoon and execute millions by nightfall. There was plenty of incrementalism over there too, all the while many "pooh poo'ed" it as "not applying to xxxx(me)".

Enough French Jews (appointed police in France) were apparently unconcerned or uninformed enough to put their brothers on trains bound for Germany, where the worst was waiting for them. Many, and in many countries, Germany included,were fooled into inaction or denial, even up until their last moments.

Let's keep our eyes open here, so we don't end up on the same "fast track to Fascism" the Germans did. Critiquing messenger's English won't stop the delivery.


Everybody makes a mistake now and then. That's why we have all these ckecks and balances. Perfection is only a goal to strive for, don't expect to attain it.

You make a good point. Which is why some superior for these Marshalls should be yelling hard questions like "Just what the h@|| did you guys think you were doing? Extracting his d@^n teeth? Are you nuts? Didn't the Nazi's do that? The press, lawyers, and taxpayers are going to have a @!%$#^ field day with that!" about 1" from the ears of the officers involved.

In your first post you said the "system worked". I respectfully disagree, if it worked the spokeswoman would have said something like "these officers are on leave and under investigation for attempting to have the suspects teeth removed". If the judge were busy fooling around with the court reporter/secretary or playing golf... it would have turned out differently.

antarti
April 8, 2006, 09:54 PM
I am sure there must be some sort of fascinating sociological explanation for this.

It is a matter of our sociology, but not in the way you think.

That's because there is a difference. If we had central planning and control of the means of production (along with a police state) then I would use the "Socio/Commun-ism" pejorative.

Since we have a government content on private ownership of the means of production, but with large government oversight and regulation by government (along with an increasing police state)... well, there you have it.

Crosshair
April 9, 2006, 12:01 AM
I don't think the Nazis "waited" until they were dead, but killed them before stripping fillings.

At least they took the time to kill them before stripping the gold teeth. A truly twisted person like Saddam would do it while they where still alive. Hitler wanted the jews dead. Saddam killed his enemies as well, but generaly made it a very painfull ordeal. Of all the ways governments have killed their own people, the Nazi Gas chamber has to be the most "Humaine", if such a term can be used to describe such evil.:uhoh:

/Sorry if I offend

Erebus
April 9, 2006, 12:08 AM
What I don't understand about this confiscation of the teeth is, on what grounds are they taking the teeth?

I can understand taking away the drugs and a vehicle that was used to transport the drugs. And I can understand confiscating any cash that was OBSERVED to be used by officers in the commission of a drug transaction. As in the LEOs have to see the cash change hands in the commission of a drug transaction to seize it. Just cause someone has lots of cash on them doesn't mean it is drug money as is frequently done by default. And innocent until proven guilty should stand in that case.

Now if they seize the cash as evidence then let the jury decide if it's drug money or not that's fine in my eyes as the drug dealers should not be allowed to retain possession of ill gotten gains. But I want a jury of their peers to rule if there is sufficient evidence that it was ill gotten or not. I can't understand how the Law Enforcement Organizations just assume it's drug money and immediately take possession and ownership of large sums of cash that were found in drug busts.

And I don't see how the teeth had anything to do with the drugs or the transaction.

If they had one of those removable ones and they had drugs stashed in it that would be diffrent.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 9, 2006, 01:12 AM
I have learned today that the Nazis were soooooo evil that anything done in the United States of America is acceptable practice.

Sounds like you should spend tomorrow learning reading comprehension then because nobody has said that..

Lucky
April 9, 2006, 03:39 AM
I read a lot of intelligent stuff in this thread, makes one think. I think they knew the fillings were permanent, too, or else they'd not need a dentist.

In regards to the Nazi comparisons I'd like to interject that what the Nazi's did was, for the most part, very legal. There's a movie based on the actual dictations made from a meeting where the 'final solution' was put together, in a couple hours at a mansion, the movie is called 'Conspiracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_%28film%29)'. The guy who crafted the laws against the Jews says at one point something like, "I'm not arguing we shouldn't do it, just that we should do it within the framework of the law." It should be required viewing, it's eye-opening, all too believable, it's the ultimate argument of why we citizens should have laws against gov't, not vice versa. When you watch this movie you will see, word for word (translated) how something like that can happen, in real time.

What the Nazis did to the Jews WAS LEGAL. I just think people should remember that point.

The Reich Citizenship Laws
German Blood Certificates
The Nazi Nuremberg Laws

All those are readily available on Wikipedia.

So, my point I felt somebody had to say but most of you all already know, is that a law is just a law, a tool, like a gun is. Laws can be used for good or bad, just like guns. If you saw every person with a gun and assumed they must be good, people would think you were crazy. The same goes for laws.

So when someone is jailed for selling something to someone else, and neither one of them is unhappy with the transaction, and you violate them, maybe even their families, because they're 'criminals', look at how many minutes it can take to go from criminalization to mass execution. Seems to take about 96.

SAG0282
April 9, 2006, 06:26 AM
Those of you who thought this was comparable to Nazi Germany...could you point me to the part in Nazi history where your state-appointed defense lawyer gets to go the court and get an order defying the will of the state?

Those of us who do favor less government and more civil liberties would really appreciate it if the word "Nazi" was reserved for those few occasions were it actually captured the horror of the systematic extermination of entire races as policy. Pretty soon they will do something worthy of the word "Nazi" and nobody will even blink when you point it out because the power of the word will have been defused by its frequent and erroneous use.


Couldn't agree more. It's pretty clear that the prosecution had the wrong idea and thought that these were easily removed, flashy accessories bought by indulgent rich people. Heck, I'm in the prime 18-24 year old MTV generation and I'm not familiar at all with them short of knowing in a VERY general sense about them. Based on the article and prices quoted, we can agree that their substantial value is relevant to the charges and state's case. So the attorney goes and files a motion and things change. I particularly agree with this above-quoted when it comes to the use of "Nazi".....it's constant use is marginalizing the gravity of their historic crimes against humanity. Nowadays everyone from Bush to the gentle old parking enforcement officer who left a ticket on your illegally parked Camry is a damn Nazi.

publius
April 9, 2006, 08:14 AM
America: A guy makes money selling drugs to kids,gets caught goes to jail assets siezed, has gold tooth replaced with composite.


Uh, how it really goes is:

America: A guy allegedly makes money selling drugs to someone, gets accused of the crime, his assets are presumed guilty and seized, he might or might not ever get convicted, but it doesn't matter because the government has the loot.

Here you go: educate yourself on the abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws (http://www.fear.org/hadaway.html) and how it leads to policing for profit (http://www.fear.org/chicago.html).

Brett Bellmore
April 9, 2006, 10:06 AM
I think they knew the fillings were permanent, too, or else they'd not need a dentist.

Actually, there are removable gold caps on the market, that ARE just jewlrey, but you can't tell the difference without trying to remove them. And that's the sort of thing they WOULD leave up to a dentist to determine. One hopes that the dentist would have balked once he found they were permanent...

I wonder who was going to pay the dentist's bill?

The real outrage, that we'd be literally up in arms about if we hadn't been gradually aquainted with the idea, is the forfieture itself. It's based on the legal fiction that it's the thing being seized, and not the person who it's being taken from that's the guilty party.

Fictions you know are fictions, and treat as truth, are more properly termed "lies". Our legal system is using "lies" to violate the rights of people who are accused of crimes, and who might never even be convicted. THAT is the outrage.

JohnBT
April 9, 2006, 10:39 AM
"I think they knew the fillings were permanent, too, or else they'd not need a dentist."

I had braces as a kid 40+ years ago. The bands were cemented on and then wired together. They weren't permanent, but they weren't removable either, and it took a dentist to get them off and then chip the cement away.

At this point I don't know if these guys had cemented grills or cemented caps, but at $2k or $3k and up each depending on the amount of gold, platinum and diamonds involved, I can see why they tried to seize them.

Ever notice how fast a thread goes downhill after the first mention of Hitler or Nazis?

John

ravinraven
April 9, 2006, 10:44 AM
...is stealing is stealing and it goes on.

The "asset forfeiture before trial and no matter the outcome, guilty or not is just another excuse for the gov't to steal. Any one who takes any part in one of these operations is an AINO. [American In Name Only] That person has no pride and no guts. If such a person had guts, he/she would get into organized crime where at least they break the laws, but leave them intact. These low lifes who join "legalized crime" syndicates corrupt the very fabric of America. They are the enemies of liberty and should be shunned. They should have signs pointing to their houses. "Legalize crime pervert lives here," and such. There should be a web site with the dossiers of these low down creeps splashed around it. I could go on, but there are no real Americans who haven't already covered this ground at least in their own realization of our situation. The GASP is at work. The Great American Suicide Plan.

rr

Pork Fat
April 9, 2006, 10:45 AM
You wouldn't let them wear their Rolexes in jail to await trial. Or their huge gold chains. If these are removable, let them await the outcome in a property envelope. If they are not removable, a bigger prisoner will find a way.:D

I'm sure these lads bought the jewel encrusted monstrosities with tips from the car wash, and income tax records will prove their legitimate lavish lifestyle is honest and pure.

Asset forfeiture is not a creation of the war on drugs, but of federal anti-racketeering legislation originally used against organized crime. Both the federal and state government versions of these have been abused. The intention was to make the punishment fit the crime, and make ill-gotten gains unavailable to the hoods when they got out of prison. Sort of a reverse incentive program. When it happens to Tony Soprano we don't cry about it on THR.

But the system requires a lot of oversight, checks and balances. I just want real dirtbags to pay taxes, in whatever form, just like I have to.

ctdonath
April 9, 2006, 10:56 AM
Ever notice how fast a thread goes downhill after the first mention of Hitler or Nazis?The phenomenon is as old as the Internet, and has a name: Godwin's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law). From Wikipedia:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made the thread in which the comment was posted is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.
This thread was dead on the first post.

publius
April 9, 2006, 11:07 AM
Asset forfeiture is not a creation of the war on drugs, but of federal anti-racketeering legislation originally used against organized crime. Both the federal and state government versions of these have been abused. The intention was to make the punishment fit the crime, and make ill-gotten gains unavailable to the hoods when they got out of prison. Sort of a reverse incentive program. When it happens to Tony Soprano we don't cry about it on THR.

But the system requires a lot of oversight, checks and balances. I just want real dirtbags to pay taxes, in whatever form, just like I have to.
It may not be a creation of the WOD, but it sure seems to fund it, and the most flagrant abuses always seem centered around drugs.

The intention was to lower the burden of proof, and make ill-gotten gains available to the seizing agency, not that there's a conflict of interest problem with that or anything...

We have a system with oversight, checks and balances, which can be used against real dirtbags. It's called criminal asset forfeiture, and all it requires is a conviction.

Brett Bellmore
April 9, 2006, 11:36 AM
You wouldn't let them wear their Rolexes in jail to await trial. Or their huge gold chains.

Of course I would. What possible excuse could there be for NOT letting them keep their property, when they're just suspected of being criminals?

I'm sure these lads bought the jewel encrusted monstrosities with tips from the car wash, and income tax records will prove their legitimate lavish lifestyle is honest and pure.

Maybe they did, and maybe they didn't, but until they've been tried and convicted, that's the presumption they're entitled to from the law. We've got a system for determining whether or not people are guilty, and the government shouldn't be punishing people by seizing their property without having used that system first.

By your reasoning, the police could just stroll down the street, and any time they saw somebody who looked like they shouldn't be able to afford their jewery or nice car, take it away from them, and then dare them to prove they'd come by it legally.

Civil forfieture stands the presumption of innocence right on it's head. It's based on the presumption of guilt, which they will let you try to rebut, if you can afford to do so after having all your assets seized. And can find a lawyer who thinks it's even worth trying. It's an abomination in a free society, but the longer we tolerate it, and other practices like it, the less free this society will become.

ctdonath
April 9, 2006, 01:00 PM
(Godwin's Law & Correlary aside...the point must be re-iterated...)

There is a HUGE difference between siezing a criminal's assets (even if glued to his teeth), vs. taking every conceivable asset from genocide victims. :cuss:

Asset forfieture (sp?) laws in the US are insane. That police can take one's assets, especially ones unrelated to the transgression in question, prior to a guilty verdict is unacceptable; that charges can be brought against inanimate objects independent of the owner thereof is downright insane. That such behavior can be considered acceptable and reasonable is a sign of diseased minds.

As bad as such laws are, they in no way measure up to the "Nazi" label. The criminal in question was able to call a lawyer, go to court, get a verdict in his favor, and continue to enjoy his adorned teeth. Had the "Nazi" label applied, there would be no lawyer, there would be no court, the verdict to his objection would be "shut up" shortly followed by a bullet, and the gold on his teeth would be chiseled out of his decomposing head.

There's also a difference between gold fillings as a medical necessity vs. jewelry glued to teeth.

antarti
April 9, 2006, 01:09 PM
John, I wore braces too a long time ago (before the transparent/modern ones)... I would hope that if I were arrested (which I never have been) for something, they wouldn't be yanked/drilled/busted out, or even expertly removed by dentist before getting a fair trial.

What you and I (and others with dental fixtures) think is irrelevant though, at least compared to a famous somebody else who had false teeth, and lived long before the 4-letter N-word folks.

George Washington had some removable teeth made of ivory and precious metal (no, they weren't WOOD like I was told in school). His were easily removable... and probably worth far more than this thugs, both today and then.

How do you think he would feel about this?

I'd wager if we could dig him up, his opinion wouldn't be favorable. Isn't what he would think more relevant? Or am I the only one who believes he would object?

antarti
April 9, 2006, 01:17 PM
As bad as such laws are, they in no way measure up to the "Nazi" label. The criminal in question was able to call a lawyer, go to court, get a verdict in his favor, and continue to enjoy his adorned teeth. Had the "Nazi" label applied, there would be no lawyer, there would be no court, the verdict to his objection would be "shut up" shortly followed by a bullet, and the gold on his teeth would be chiseled out of his decomposing head.

And none of what you say has anything to do with the behavior of the arresting officers. It was the system and individuals around them that prevented this, not some question of conscience on the officers' part. If you will look at the thread title, and read the article, it does not say "We live in a Nazi USA". It compares the actions of a few to the actions of many long ago. Period.

It compares the behavior of the arresting officers to Nazi's. It does not compare the lawyer, perp, judge, or country-at-large to Nazi Germany.

I submit their behavior is (at the very least) indeed reminiscent of what was done by Nazis. The quotes may be from a grandstanding lawyer, but he is only responding to what the Marshalls did, which is a far cry from actually attempting to seize somebody's teeth without due process.

publius
April 9, 2006, 02:01 PM
Just to keep it gun-related, does everyone recall that it was recently proposed that this drug war precedent, like many others before it, be applied to guns?

Bill: Seize homes that contain 'illegal' guns (http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44183)

New Jersey lawmaker wants buildings, cars taken if firearms not permitted
Posted: May 10, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Ron Strom
2005 WorldNetDaily.com

A New Jersey state assemblyman has introduced a bill that would allow the government to seize the home or car of anyone whose property contains an illegal firearm.

The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Louis Manzo, D-Jersey City, authorizes the forfeiture of "motor vehicle, building or premise" if a firearm is found in it that is not possessed legally per state law "even if the firearm was not possessed by the owner of the motor vehicle, building or premise," states a summary of the bill, A3998. The legislation was introduced Thursday.

Manzo pointed out his bill extends government power now reserved for targeting those in possession of illegal drugs.

"If we will do this when someone is caught with illegal drugs, it only makes sense that we should do it for when someone has an illegal weapon," Manzo told the Hudson Reporter.

"We currently allow this to take place when illegal drugs are found. This is to keep a landlord or someone driving the car from turning a blind eye to the drugs people in an apartment or passenger in the car is doing," he said. "I think if a landlord knows there is an illegal gun in the house, he or she should do something about it. And this may encourage someone driving a car to keep a person from carrying a gun."

Under the proposed law, an unlicensed machine gun, handgun, rifle or shotgun are considered illegal.

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, slammed the proposal.

"It looks like [Manzo] is going to have a go at the Second Amendment and the Fifth Amendment," said Pratt, referring to constitutional rights involving firearms and private property. "Way to go a 'two-fer'!"

Pratt told WND police skullduggery could cause law-abiding citizens to lose their property.

"So if an officer plants a gun in your home, you lose your house," he said. "It's the same drill they've been using in the war against drugs. Now they want to use the same tactics against people who have a gun for self-defense."

Of the bill, Pratt stated, "I hope it's going nowhere, but you never know with New Jersey."

Manzo compared the cost of his proposal to a current gun buyback program.

"This is one more tool that law enforcement can use in an effort to do away with illegal weapons," he told the Hudson Reporter. "Unlike the buyback program, this doesn't cost the taxpayers money to get rid of illegal guns."

ctdonath
April 9, 2006, 02:15 PM
And none of what you say has anything to do with the behavior of the arresting officers.Yes it did: that the arrestee was able to push back against would-be overaggressive police, get his day in court, and keep his dental decorations. They didn't just shoot him when he resisted - which was the Nazi way.It compares the behavior of the arresting officers to Nazi's.The objection of some here is that the comparason is too strained. In no way do we support or justify what they did. To liken such behavior to that of Nazis is to demonstrate a gross misunderstanding of the latter, and to trivialize the Holocaust.

Too many make "reminiscent" references in a manner that trivialize.

kwelz
April 9, 2006, 03:01 PM
THis is a case that shows how easy it is for anyone, including the people here, to twist what actually happened. They were not trying to remove their teeth. They were trying to remove jewelry. Just like they do with every person that is arrested. You don't leave personal items with the people when they are incarcerated. You take off chains, rings, etc. In this case they thought it was just another piece of jewelry, albeit some that was difficult to remove.

Of course to read what you all are saying they already had a pair of pliers in these punks mouths trying to pry the grills out. THis is not the case at all. They were taking them to a dentist to have them popped out. The lawyer went to a Judge and said they could not be just easily popped out like that, the judge told the Police to stop and the Police did just that.

Sounds like the system worked just fine and any analogy to the Nazi's is just people trying to stir stuff up. Definitely not THR attitude.

RevDisk
April 9, 2006, 03:04 PM
By your reasoning, the police could just stroll down the street, and any time they saw somebody who looked like they shouldn't be able to afford their jewery or nice car, take it away from them, and then dare them to prove they'd come by it legally.

Apparently, you're not very familiar with the application of modern search and seizure laws. It is legal for a federal agency (state and local law vary) to seize various property (often cash) without any charges.

http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/afp/

Specifically http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/afp/07federalforfeiture/index.htm

Administrative forfeiture is an in rem action that permits the federal seizing agency to forfeit the property without judicial involvement. The authority for a seizing agency to start an administrative forfeiture action is found in the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. 1607. Property that can be administratively forfeited is: merchandise the importation of which is prohibited; a conveyance used to import, transport, or store a controlled substance; a monetary instrument; or other property that does not exceed $500,000 in value.

Source: A Guide to Equitable Sharing of Federally Forfeited Property for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, U.S. Department of Justice, March 1994.

Some various stories on search and seizure.

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/05/517.asp

Interestingly meantions Virginia has seized 6,450 automobiles

http://www.uspcak9.com/training/introsearchandseizure.shtml

Police guide to K9 search and seizure

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/31/technology/31gambling.html?ex=1401422400&en=32b386c595a19305&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND

Federales seized $3.2 million from the Discovery Channel for displaying advertisements of legal activity (offshore casino, fully licensed and legal in Costa Rica)

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a392947cb365d.htm

An interesting article about various state and local police evading state law on S&S by calling the federales so the police get a cut instead of the money going to the state mandated fund.

Interesting quote :

The Justice Department says that from October 1996 through March 1999 it accepted $208,454,000 in seizures from state and local police.

But that figure is still being audited because the Justice Department has not published an annual forfeiture report since 1996, although the law requires the report to be produced each year.

Gee, seems pretty clear cut. If the law says "Tell Congress how much money you seize", and the DOJ doesn't... Heh. Who do you call to have the DOJ arrested? :neener:

A quick Google or yahoo search will turn up as many horror stories as you want to read.


Sorry, Brett, but indeed the police can and do seize property without conviction. Usually the bar is "probable cause". But the trick is, they arrest the cash, car or whatever. Obviously, property doesn't have the same legal rights as it's not a person, so property can be arrested without due process. (I swear, I'm not making this up, I sincerely wish I was.) You indeed have to sue as a third party on behalf of the object(s) to get them back. Estimates vary, but I've heard estimates of an average of 10 grand to get your property back. Of course, the sky is the limit.

It's immoral as high hell. It's un-Constitutional and just plain wrong to anyone with any sense. But it is a legal activity, just like the Nazis ripping the gold teeth out of genocide victims.

Remember something, "drug suspects", they were not convicted of jack before the govt tried to rip out their dental work. No, the govt wanting to rip the dental work out of the skull of a live suspect is not as morally wrong as the Nazis ripping dental work out of the skull of a victim after they killed them. But neither activity is right either.

Baron Holbach4
April 9, 2006, 03:13 PM
Sounds like the system worked just fine. . .

In other words, the War on Drugs is working just fine?

JohnBT
April 9, 2006, 04:27 PM
"Sounds like the system worked just fine. . ."


"In other words, the War on Drugs is working just fine?"

No, the ability to go before a judge and get something overturned or stopped.
Do me a favor and go twist somebody else's words.

John

Art Eatman
April 9, 2006, 06:43 PM
Twisting the intent of somebody's statement into some ludicrous example does not at all help rational discussion.

Art

CentralTexas
April 9, 2006, 07:07 PM
penile prosthetics all cna be paid for with ill gotten gains....
CT

publius
April 9, 2006, 07:07 PM
They were trying to remove jewelry. Just like they do with every person that is arrested.
No, not like every arrest. If I am arrested for a property crime, they would indeed take my stuff before putting me in a cell. Thing is, they'd put that stuff in an envelope for me, and I'd get it back on my way out. If I am arrested for a drug crime, then my stuff becomes the property of the seizing agency, and I'm unlikely to ever get it back.

This makes it rather profitable for agencies to suspect people of drug involvement, much more profitable than actually convicting them, which might explain why, in 80% of federal forfeiture cases, no criminal charges are ever filed.

mordechaianiliewicz
April 9, 2006, 07:19 PM
When will the drug war end? I'd like my country back. I mean come on now. Wasn't LEOs shaking down "negros" a relic of the early 20th to early '60s era.

This is just rediculous. Pulling the gold out of a man's mouth?

Next thing you know the police will just break into peoples homes in the middle of the night and take them off to pri....

I would continue but my language would not be very High Roadish

Baron Holbach4
April 9, 2006, 07:20 PM
Twisting the intent of somebody's statement into some ludicrous example does not at all help rational discussion.


My question goes to the heart of the issue: whether the system -- the repeated interplay between lawyers, judges, law enforcement, and gangbangers -- is truly working in the 35-year War on Drugs? It just so happens that this thread discusses one of the tools of the War on Drugs: asset forfeiture. Are we going to continue to defend asset forfeiture and its slippery slope toward further erosion of the Bill of Rights because some on this thread take offense when questioned whether this system is working?

BuddyOne
April 9, 2006, 07:36 PM
Whether the US gets the teeth or Bubba the cell-mate gets 'em. Just a matter of time, not principle.

All these chins quivering in righteous indignation...

Buddy

Brett Bellmore
April 9, 2006, 09:38 PM
Apparently, you're not very familiar with the application of modern search and seizure laws. It is legal for a federal agency (state and local law vary) to seize various property (often cash) without any charges.

Sez who I'm not familiar with it? I'm well aware such actions are legal. Indeed, that is what's so outrageous about the situation, that this sort of pre-trial and without-trial punishment aren't the actions of a few loose cannons, they're SOP.

That this sort of thing is perfectly legal IS the outrage.

RevDisk
April 9, 2006, 10:34 PM
Sez who I'm not familiar with it? I'm well aware such actions are legal. Indeed, that is what's so outrageous about the situation, that this sort of pre-trial and without-trial punishment aren't the actions of a few loose cannons, they're SOP.

That this sort of thing is perfectly legal IS the outrage.

My apologies, I phrased it kinda badly. I wasn't trying to sound uhm, belligerant. Moreso resigned sarcasm at how messed up the situation has become.

It's legalized theft that is vastly underaccounted. The DoJ refuses to release accurate numbers on how much stuff was seized, and for what 'crimes' said stuff was seized. (A joke, one estimate said 80% of the cases, no charges were filed. DoJ refuses to publish the numbers.) Asset seizure has been become much more widely applied than just obvious drug dealers, over 200 different statutes and counting. That's merely on a federal level.

That is indeed the scary aspect. There is no courts involved. Heck, according to those that can pry the numbers out of the DoJ, as high as 80% of the cases don't involve charges against the property owner. Little to no accountability, ugh. It's a mess. It's even more amusing in many cases, the states have tried to curb the abuse. Many police agencies simply ignore their state laws, and turn it over to the federales. The federales ignore the state laws dictating handling of asset seizure, and give a cut of the money back to the police agencies directly.

The lovely part? It's only gonna get worse from here.


Another good intro to 'asset forfeiture' : http://www.law.cornell.edu/background/forfeiture/

Johnny_Yuma
April 10, 2006, 02:38 AM
and anything else he bought with his ill-gotten gains.

antarti
April 10, 2006, 02:52 AM
The objection of some here is that the comparason is too strained.

Observed and noted.

In no way do we support or justify what they did.

Glad to hear it.

To liken such behavior to that of Nazis is to demonstrate a gross misunderstanding of the latter, and to trivialize the Holocaust.

Too many make "reminiscent" references in a manner that trivialize.

First, I am not one to deny or trivialize the holocaust. I can tell you not to bother looking for some statement on my behalf that it was historic revisionism, because I never made such an idiotic statement in my life, whether in print or voice.

This thread was not about 2 men having their teeth pulled being equivalent to the holocaust. That particular comparison is one that others have imported into the thread, not me.

Second, if I were in denial of or trivializing it, why would I be concerned about behavior reminiscent of those who committed it, in my own country?

Wouldn't a simple "bah, that's crap" be more in line with what you suggest?

The holocaust is well-recorded history. I am, however, someone who would prefer that such events stayed in the past, and were discussed forever in the singular, not as the holocausts 50/20/10/5 years from now.

When something that smells like Nazism rears its ugly head, I am not going to go burying mine.

publius
April 10, 2006, 07:08 AM
Good grief, enough with the holocaust. Want to see this same thread without so many Nazi references? Here it is (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207013)!

Brett Bellmore
April 10, 2006, 08:16 AM
Good grief, the only reason the holocaust is refered to in the singular is effective PR; Genocides are regrettably common, even on a higher per-capita basis than in Nazi Germany.

There are one or two being perpetrated in Africa right now, with the world doing all it can to avoid noticing.

As it happens, though, I agree with Antarti: It would be silly to compare asset forfeiture to the Holocaust, but it's not silly to compare police who'd send a suspect to a dentist to get gold caps yanked, to Nazis. And people who see no problem with it to good Germans.

There are strong elements in our government and society pushing us down the path of Nazi Germany, and if we're not there yet, that's no guarantee that we won't GET there. Refusing to see the parallels because the Holocaust was some kind of singular event that can't have any relevance to American society is just another way of greasing the rails.

BTW, Godwin's law was just an observation, the uses to which it's put, to stifle debate, are something else again.

BuddyOne
April 10, 2006, 08:34 AM
First they came for the drug dealers,
Then they came for the rapists,
Then they came for the international terrorists,
Then they came for the money launderers,
They they came for the felons...

Where will it stop?

Buddy

NineseveN
April 10, 2006, 10:08 AM
First they came for the drug dealers,
Then they came for the rapists,
Then they came for the international terrorists,
Then they came for the money launderers,
They they came for the felons...

Where will it stop?

Buddy

Maybe at your front porch...then again, maybe not.

CAS700850
April 10, 2006, 10:51 AM
Bless me THR, for I have sinned. I once seized assets of drug dealers when I was a prosecutor. I seized cash, cars, guns, computers, night-vision gear, video equipment, a gas grill, a riding mower, and two houses. And, though I sinned in this way, I slept at night, and was proud of what I did. I didn't realize that I was stomping upon the Constitution when I looked at two guys, one an illegal alien, neither of whom had gainful employment, who had purchased 12 cars, dozens of firearms, electronics, etc. How dare I call these two drug dealers when we seized almost a kilo of meth from their home, along with manufacturing equipment and base chemicals. How dare I consider their statements in which both admitted to smuggling this meth in from Mexico, trucking it into Ohio, and then remanufacturing it for greater profit, to increase what they had. How dare I take their assets, which they admitted were purchased with drug money, have them sold, and use the money for the Police Athletic League. How dare I comply with the law and provide a quarter of the money to a drug treatment program. How dare I allow law enforcement to keep the night vision, the video surveillance gear, and the four cut down Remington 870 shotguns (14 inch barrels).

You know, the forfeiture laws actually require the State to prove that the money used to purchase the items was the direct proceeds of illegal activity. It's not like a cop calls a prosecutor because he saw Johnny, a reputed drug dealer, driving a Porsche, and you go get it. You need actual evidence. Amazingly enough, evidence does not mean "Johhny has a Porsche. Johnny is claimed to be a drug dealer. Johnny has no legal job." Hell, a lot of times, it is easier to prove them guilty than to prove the assets were illegally obtained. But, as someone who actually spoke with these dopers, the loss of money/assets means more than prison time. So, it was worth pursuing, because it hurt the guys higher up the chain. Why? The two guys I mentioned were fronted the meth, and had to pay $500,000 to the guy in Mexico by a certain date. Putting these two in jail wouldn't have meant anything to the guy in Mexico. taking away all of the stuff means the guy in Mexico doesn't get his money, so maybe he won't send his stuff back hee next time.

Sorry, I'm not going to be saying any mea culpas for this one. And, if teh AUSA thought he could get $10,000 wirth of gold and jewels from drug dealers, rather than let them wear it in their mouths, so be it. Personally, I'd have let them wear it at trial. THem sitting in front of a jury with a mouth full of gold and jewels...res ipsa loquitor.

antarti
April 10, 2006, 12:34 PM
It would be silly to compare asset forfeiture to the Holocaust, but it's not silly to compare police who'd send a suspect to a dentist to get gold caps yanked, to Nazis. And people who see no problem with it to good Germans.

Good reading comprehension should be appreciated, as it's getting rare. Thanks.

Godwin's law was just an observation, the uses to which it's put, to stifle debate, are something else again.

+1

Personally, I'd have let them wear it at trial. THem sitting in front of a jury with a mouth full of gold and jewels

Not an easy thing to hide from the jury, I'd imagine.

I'd think the jury would be set aback by the prosecutor showing them a jar of bloody teeth and telling them "Look! We had a dentist extract THESE from their mouths right after we arrested 'em too!". Then again, I'm no expert in such matters.

benEzra
April 10, 2006, 03:16 PM
Whether the US gets the teeth or Bubba the cell-mate gets 'em. Just a matter of time, not principle.

All these chins quivering in righteous indignation...

Buddy

Did you notice the part about asset forfeiture occurring WITHOUT a conviction for a crime?

The police SUSPECT person A of something. Instead of prosecuting the person, they file charges against the person's gold teeth and attempt to have them removed, WITHOUT a trial or a conviction--just "I suspect you of crime X, hence I sentence you to have your gold teeth removed and sold, and the proceeds deposited into my pocket." That's not how the system is supposed to work.

If these guys lawyer wasn't on the ball, they would have been sentenced to quite a bit of pain and demonstrable physical harm, without a trial...

publius
April 10, 2006, 03:19 PM
You know, the forfeiture laws actually require the State to prove that the money used to purchase the items was the direct proceeds of illegal activity.No, I didn't know that. When you use the words "prove" and "illegal activity" together in that way, it implies a level of proof which would be acceptable in a criminal trial. That would mean, proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

And yet, this Miami Law Review article (http://www.fear.org/hadaway.html) says that the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 shifted the burden, so that owners no longer had to prove their innocence to reclaim seized property, but the government has to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was illegally obtained or was tainted. That's a long way of saying "probably" it was illegal. Some "proof."

If the police are dependent on forfeitures as a funding source, is that a wise incentive program? The clear incentive is to go after the criminal with the most loot which can be seized, but is that always the most dangerous criminal, or the best use of resources?

Daniel T
April 10, 2006, 03:35 PM
The clear incentive is to go after the criminal with the most loot which can be seized, but is that always the most dangerous criminal, or the best use of resources?

Hell, is it even an actual criminal?

BuddyOne
April 10, 2006, 08:21 PM
As a graduate of the UM Law School, maybe I can shed some light on this non-issue. Would it surprise any of you that the University of Miami has as much trouble filling up their magazine (oops, Law Review) as any other publication does? The article cited is an argument for limiting property seizure so that its application would be strictly available only as a post-conviction remedy. This idea is dead on arrival; the author may know how to cite dicta, but he doesn't know nothin' about drug dealers and other assorted federal felons. A criminal doesn't keep very much of his profits in a coffee can under the bed. If a pre-emptive seizure isn't made, then there will be nothing left three years later when he is convicted.

If my memory serves me correctly, the concept of seizure was put into gear when the US got tired of prosecuting people who seemed to have unlimited amounts of dough to pay defense attorneys. I remember when most of the criminal defense attorneys suddenly became family law attorneys because of the glut of penniless drug dealers. Very sad period of time in the history of the Dade County bar.

I have represented what are known as "innocent owners" who have been adversely affected by seizure actions. As you can probably imagine, these issues were (I no longer hang out in Coral Gables/Miami) fairly common to many law practices and I can't think of a single instance where the AUSA was overbearing or dictatorial. To the contrary, they were both fair and speedy in their resolution of my clients' problems. Suffice to say that not all "owners" can claim "innocence."

Seizures can bring about some pretty interesting situations. I had a close friend who practiced only criminal defense law who took a case about 15 years ago representing a Mexican national (no offense) who was boarding a flight to Mexico City with a straw bag containing $800,000 in US currency. The guy was in a T-shirt, blue jeans and flip-flops, so he was detained pending an explanation of his obvious good fortune. The DEA knew the guy was a money courier and that the funds were going to Mexico City as a payment to some drug executive. My good friend was appointed to defend the money. Case was [U]US v. 800,000 Dollars[U]. My buddy put up a pretty good defense and he won the release of the money. The Mexican had long since disappeared and couldn't be found. The judge was quite irritated and released the money to my attorney friend. He left it and walked away rather than have the Mexican drug executive show up and reclaim it some night. When he got back to Miami, I took him out for some beers to help him over his animosity toward judges.

Faith in the US governmental system is the same as faith in any other concept. You either have it or you don't. Does the seizure procedure need to be fine tuned? That can be accomodated by legislation. Beware, though-the Democratic Party likes revenue in all forms, and criminal seizures grew exponentially during Clinton's eight years...

The issue of an appropriate response to drug dealers remains unsettled in my mind (even though seizures seem to have gotten their attention). I can never decide whether the issue needs to be resolved by .308 or 30-06...

My respects to CAS700850.

Buddy

publius
April 10, 2006, 09:27 PM
If everything was going so well back when civil evidence standards started being used to punish drug crimes, why was there any support at all for the CAFRA of 2000?

Possibly because not everyone was as lucky as your clients, Buddy. I became interested in this issue when a friend's boats were seized. To shorten a long story, he gave an acquaintance from Bimini a ride across, and the guy split when he learned Customs/Immigration were coming to check him out. It took months and was very expensive to get his boats back (one was in tow behind the "culprit" boat).

The unfairness of it struck me, because there was no way any prosecutor could ever convict my friend of anything, and they never tried. They just took his boats.

The stories from that era are often much worse, and James Bovard has collected quite a few here (http://www.libertarianworld.com/Property-Seizure-Rights.html).

LadySmith
April 11, 2006, 06:55 AM
Thank you Publius for posting the James Bovard link. Eye-opening and disturbing reading.

publius
April 11, 2006, 07:25 AM
Case was [u]US v. 800,000 Dollars[u].

So, what were the charges against the money?

The issue of an appropriate response to drug dealers remains unsettled in my mind (even though seizures seem to have gotten their attention).

It sure got my attention, but what do you mean by saying it got drug dealers' attention? How, exactly, and with what effect?

Ryder
April 11, 2006, 07:30 AM
Guess that answers my question on another thread as to what they will do when there is nothing left to take.

Baron Holbach4
April 11, 2006, 09:12 AM
Thank you Publius for posting the James Bovard link. Eye-opening and disturbing reading.

I have read two of his books: Lost Rights and Freedom in Chains. He does his research. His citations are documented.

publius
April 12, 2006, 05:16 AM
So, what were the charges against the money?

And while I'm at it, what was the money's defense?

Because just from the sound of things, the charges would be "being an unexplained amount of money in the possession of a poorly dressed Mexican" and the defense would simply be "that's not a crime."

Don't Tread On Me
April 12, 2006, 08:37 AM
Hmmm... what if a sick drug dealer used their "blood money" to purchase a liver-transplant?

Would the State be justified in taking the liver? After all, it was bought with money acquired through illegal means.

Where do we draw the line? Shouldn't we just put them away for life (even with their gold teeth) for full terms (rather than early release)?

Some criminals have made illegal activity their single source of income. Their very life depended on illegal money. No food, no life. Should the State own their bodies? Can we seize their bodies, as opposed to just their freedom? Harvest organs for those law-abiding citizens with needs.

Perhaps the scientific community can put death-row inmates to better use? They can use their soon-to-die bodies to experiment with new medications that will better society. We can test new high-tech weaponry on them, this would lead to more effective weapons which would lead to countless GI's lives being saved. Think about it. No more ballistics gel - use the real thing! Fackler can shoot inmates, then MRI the "wound channels"...end our .223 vs. 7.62x39mm and 9mm vs. 45acp debates forever!


Do you see where we are headed? This is what the Nazis did. If you can't understand that, then there really is no more discussion to be had on the subject.

BuddyOne
April 12, 2006, 10:25 AM
I don't know, Publius, I never asked him. I've never had an interest in criminal tactics and strategy, so those issues would have been secondary to my interest in my friend's state of mind. He became progressively alcoholic and passed on several years ago, so he's not available to me any more. He was always good for an interesting story. I have rounded off the dollar amount of the style of the case because I don't remember the exact amount.

Buddy

publius
April 12, 2006, 02:14 PM
Criminal tactics and strategy should have little to do with a civil proceeding against property. If it were a criminal case, we'd be talking about a defendant and proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but this is a civil case you brought up, and there is no human defendant, and the standard of proof which applies is lower.

BuddyOne
April 12, 2006, 04:12 PM
Right, thank you.

Buddy

publius
April 13, 2006, 07:16 AM
Except that there would be no such "civil" case without an alleged crime.

What do you call a crime no one wants to bother to prove?

A civil matter.

Kodiaz
April 13, 2006, 07:22 AM
A crime the gov doesn't want to prove.

That's easy.

Waco or Ruby Ridge

Don't Tread On Me
April 13, 2006, 08:49 AM
People are hung up on about 4-5 different red herrings. Like the status of the teeth - are they removeable or permanent? That the person is a drug-dealer, although never convicted as one. And a few other things things like complaining about the label of "nazi" and whether or not it is appropriate. They also justify the tyrannical Nazi-style acts of the State based soley on the low character of the accused.

I think that a lot of Americans are very uncomfortable with confronting the issue here. That the State actually possesses such motives and desires.


For those of you with reading comprehension issues, let me assist:

Talk about taking a bite out of crime government lawyers are trying to remove the gold-capped teeth known as "grills" or "grillz" from the mouths of two men facing drug charges.

For starters, we are not calling the cops "nazis"..but instead the State (not as in State like FL, but as in government). The government lawyers are the representatives of the State. They want the teeth.

"I've been doing this for over 30 years and I have never heard of anything like this," said Richard J. Troberman, a forfeiture specialist and past president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "It sounds like Nazi Germany when they were removing the gold teeth from the bodies, but at least then they waited until they were dead."

This is the guy that called it Nazi-like. He is a lawyer, with 30 years experience and is appauled by this move. We echoed his ideas.

According to documents and lawyers involved in the case in U.S. District Court, Flenard T. Neal Jr. and Donald Jamar Lewis, charged with several drug and weapon violations,

Charged, NOT convicted. Big difference.

were taken on Tuesday from the Federal Detention Center to the U.S. marshal's office, where they were told the government had a warrant to seize the grills.

The government wants the grills. They issued a warrant for them. They do not care (at this point in time) whether or not they are permanent or removeable. That is irrelevent, the key here is the movtivation and desire of the State. To seize parts of one's body.

Before being put into a vehicle to be taken to a dentist in Seattle,

If they were removeable, you'd think they'd just yank them in the detention facility. It seems to me that they figured out that they were not, so they needed a dentist to remove them. That is how DETERMINED they were to get the grills.

they called their lawyers, who were able to halt the seizure, said Miriam Schwartz, Neal's public defender. A permanent stay of the seizure order was signed Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate J. Kelley Arnold, court documents show.

Miracle. I guess the entire system isn't tyrannical just yet. I think this is more of "getting caught with fingers in the cookie jar" ...Being that the representatives of the State wanted to seize the teeth, and that a Judge issued a warrant to do it. That again shows that their motive was clear. Only after a stink was made about it by the defense attorney did they reverse themselves.

Grills, popularized by rappers such as Nelly, are customized tooth caps made of precious metals and jewels which can cost thousands of dollars for a full set. Some can be snapped onto the teeth like an orthodontic retainer, and others are permanently bonded to the teeth.

Neal and Lewis have permanently bonded grills, their lawyers said, declining to provide more description.

This doesn't matter.

Government lawyers who asked a federal judge on March 29 to order confiscation of the grills said they did not know the caps had been bonded to the drug defendants' teeth.

"Asset forfeiture is a fairly routine procedure, and our attorneys were under the impression that these snapped out like a retainer," said Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle.

Really? then why were they off to the Dentist's office? Removable one's should be easily taken care of during the body-cavity seach prior to incarceration.

Once the government understood that removal of the grills could damage the defendants' teeth, they abandoned the seizure attempt, she said.

Oh yeah right. If it were a retainer, it wouldn't cause damage being that they'd be easily removable. Otherwise it is permanent, so much so, a denist was set up to remove them.

Are they going to have us believe that the same Nazi-thugs who want to seize teeth actually care about the well being of these accused people's real teeth?

Schwartz and Zenon Peter Olbertz, Lewis' lawyer, criticized what they said was a clandestine attempt to have the grills removed.

That's exactly what it was. The government tried to pull a fast one and have a dentist remove the permanent grills. When they got caught, they backed down and made excuses and played dumb.



Folks, that's your tax dollars hard at work.

BuddyOne
April 13, 2006, 09:16 AM
Drug dealers would be happy to replace prosecutors as "Nazi thugs." I object to the waste of my tax dollars by sending these two to the dentist. The other inmates would have taken care of the ownership issue without much fuss.

Buddy

antarti
April 13, 2006, 12:28 PM
The other inmates would have taken care of the ownership issue without much fuss.

That would have come after they were found guilty by a jury though, not before.

publius
April 13, 2006, 07:15 PM
The whole conviction by a jury thing is the fuss to be avoided here. Cuts into the margin, doncha know. ;)

You avoid it in "civil" actions with titles like United States v. One Assortment of 89 Firearms (http://reason.com/bi/fb90.shtml)

BuddyOne
April 14, 2006, 09:10 AM
Did you think no one would see the date of the article? 1990? No cases since that time?

I've never met a drug offender (and I meet in our county jail with 30 of them twice a week) who denied knowledge of the consequences of his activity, including seizure.

Keep fighting that conviction/jury thing. The Reason Magazine 1990 cite oughta make short work of the issue...



Buddy

cracked butt
April 14, 2006, 11:55 AM
Wow! a new record at THR! Godwin's Law can be applied to the very title of the thread, no need to read further.:rolleyes:

antarti
April 14, 2006, 12:48 PM
Keep fighting that conviction/jury thing.

Buddy, is it a bad thing to wait until somebody is convicted of a crime before trying to have their teeth yanked out?

Wow! a new record at THR! Godwin's Law can be applied to the very title of the thread, no need to read further.

Yup, now we can all go back to the TV with a cold one. No need for anybody to read/post/care until they actually show people donning the swastika armbands during the halftime show.

Brett Bellmore
April 14, 2006, 01:00 PM
but this is a civil case you brought up, and there is no human defendant

I call BS. The legal fiction is that the property being seized is the defendant, not the person it's being seized from. But the defining characteristic of a legal fiction is that it's not TRUE.

These cases DO have human defendants, it's just that the legal system uses a deliberate lie to deny them their constitutional rights.

publius
April 15, 2006, 07:04 AM
Did you think no one would see the date of the article? 1990? No cases since that time?

Did you come to shed a little light on this non-issue without actually paying attention to what those who disagree with you say? The Bovard article has cases through the mid 90's, and the UM Law Review article was written in 2001. The proposal to apply this drug war precedent to the war on guns came from 2005. The topic case, of course, is from 2006.

Now that I've answered your questions, want to take a shot at a couple that I have asked? If the law was not being abused, why was there any support for the CAFRA of 2000? If the police are dependent on forfeitures as a funding source, is that a wise incentive program? The clear incentive is to go after the criminal with the most loot which can be seized, but is that always the most dangerous criminal, or the best use of resources? Can you think of some better-sounding charges against that money that you brought up than "being in the possession of a poorly dressed Mexican"? You said your friend put up a pretty good defense, but I don't think those charges really require much of one. And, what did you mean by saying that asset forfeiture has "gotten drug dealers' attention"? The drug war looks like as much of a failure as ever to me, still catching less than 10%.

I've never met a drug offender (and I meet in our county jail with 30 of them twice a week) who denied knowledge of the consequences of his activity, including seizure.

Why do you keep bringing up drug offenders in jail, when we're talking about civil actions against property? Were you unaware that during the glory days of forfeiture (a time you seem to think was only bad for people who love drugs and hate families), Henry Hyde pointed out that in 80% of federal forfeiture cases, no charges were ever filed against an individual. How can that be, if it's all about getting the criminals off the street? It sure looks like it's all about getting the loot into government coffers, regardless of what may happen to criminals, or law-abiding people like my friend, whose property was accused of a crime.

cracked butt
April 15, 2006, 10:54 AM
Yup, now we can all go back to the TV with a cold one. No need for anybody to read/post/care until they actually show people donning the swastika armbands during the halftime show.

I rest my case.

publius
April 16, 2006, 11:33 PM
I call BS. The legal fiction is that the property being seized is the defendant, not the person it's being seized from.

Yeah, but if you buy into the fiction, you get to ask fun questions about "guilty" property and charges against piles of money. :neener:

On an unrelated note, there sure does seem to be alot of discussion about how any Nazi references are not worth discussing. :rolleyes:

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