Thursday, March 30, 2017

CONYERS Statement On DOJ IG Report On DOJ's Use Of Asset Forfeiture

Washington, D.C. - The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice issued a report concerning the Department’s “Oversight of Cash Seizure and Forfeiture Activities.”  The Inspector General analyzed the asset seizure and forfeiture policies, practices and performance management capabilities of the Department as a whole, in addition to examining the forfeiture activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The review identified weaknesses in the Department’s oversight of asset seizure and forfeiture activities, and specifically found that the Department and its investigative components do not use data “to determine whether seizures benefit criminal investigations or the extent to which they may pose potential risks to civil liberties.” 

In response, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) stated:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“The results of the Inspector General’s report are very troubling.  This report questions the Justice Department’s asset seizure and forfeiture practices, finding that many may not advance or relate to criminal investigations.  The report confirms our fears that our asset forfeiture laws must be updated and reformed, which I have been working with my colleagues, on a bipartisan basis, to accomplish. 

“I have previously cosponsored the Deterring Undue Enforcement by Protecting Rights of Citizens from Excessive Searches and Seizures Act of 2016 (DUE PROCESS Act), and am joining my colleagues Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) in reintroducing today.  This bill is necessary to provide important new protections against the abuse of our civil forfeiture laws, which allow the government to take someone’s property without even filing criminal charges.” 

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